ONEONTA, N.Y. -- For the eighth successive year, alumni of the SUNY College at Oneonta led all of their SUNY peers in supporting their alma mater. Nationally, SUNY Oneonta ranked sixth among public master’s-granting colleges in the percentage of alumni who made a gift to the institution.
According to data from the Voluntary Support of Education survey conducted by the Council for Aid to Education, 14.4% of SUNY Oneonta alumni made a charitable gift to the College in the 2008-2009 fiscal year. The average among four-year SUNY colleges was 7.9%, and the national average among public colleges was 6.0%.
Gifts and grants to SUNY Oneonta support the College’s academic mission, programs, and students, said Paul J. Adamo, SUNY Oneonta Vice President for College Advancement and Executive Director of the College at Oneonta Foundation. He reported that the College received a total of $3.9 million in gifts and grants from all sources in 2008-2009.
“Our graduates and friends recognize that charitable investments in our College can provide life-altering opportunities for our students, our communities, and our shared future,” said Adamo.
He cited scholarships for students, endowed lectureships, student/faculty research, the Milne Library, and the Biological Field Station as examples of areas in which charitable giving enhances the College’s programs. For the 2009-2010 academic year, SUNY Oneonta awarded 1,085 scholarships to students, valued at over $1.8 million.
Many scholarships at SUNY Oneonta are endowed through gifts and grants to the College at Oneonta Foundation. The earnings from the endowment’s investments are used to fund the awards to students.
According to Adamo, the endowment was bolstered in 2009 by a bequest of over $2.5 million for scholarships from the estate of alumna Dorothy Wemple of the class of 1936. He noted that many scholarships at SUNY Oneonta are established through estate planning, using bequests in wills, charitable trusts, and charitable gift annuities.
Adamo added that the high rate of alumni giving was a positive sign for SUNY Oneonta in a difficult economic year marked by dramatic drops in charitable support for higher education. According to the Council for Aid to Education, alumni participation in giving to public and private colleges and universities nationwide dropped to 10% in 2009, the lowest level ever recorded on the Voluntary Support of Education survey. Overall, charitable contributions to colleges and universities fell 11.9% nationwide.
“We appreciate our alumni and friends, and we know that their continuing support in difficult economic times reflects their understanding of the important work that the College does,” said Adamo.
More information about charitable giving to SUNY Oneonta is available from Paul Adamo at (607) 436-2535.