SUNY Potsdam's Take the Lead Campaign Closes Fiscal Year with $23.5 Million


Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam has had a banner year, raising more than $5.76 million in donations and commitments in 2013-14. This brings the total raised to more than $23.5 million in gifts and pledges, putting the Take the Lead Campaign at 87 percent of its overall goal, as of July 1, 2014.

Once again, giving has far exceeded aspirations, hitting 159 percent of the College's annual campaign goal. The campus is already $4.5 million ahead of its original projection for campaign giving, with the ultimate goal of raising $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.

"SUNY Potsdam continues to break records for generosity with the Take the Lead Campaign. Donors have taken this to heart, going above and beyond to support campus priorities as the College approaches its third century," said Vice President for Advancement Vicki Templeton-Cornell. "We are grateful for the incredible outpouring of generosity that SUNY Potsdam alumni and friends have shown throughout the past fiscal year."

Since its public launch in April 2013, the campaign has gained momentum, and garnered exceptional support from alumni and friends—including a total of 133 Leadership Donor gifts of $20,000 or more. So far, 39 donors have given at the Chancellor's Circle level of $100,000 or more for the campaign. Of those gifts, six have exceeded the $1 million mark.

In the 2013-14 fiscal year, 13 new endowed scholarships were created, ranging from support for computer science and music education majors, as well as several specifically aimed at helping North Country students. Two new endowed program funds were also created, including one for the Rebecca V. Sheard Literacy Center, and another for The Crane School of Music.

Other campaign highlights include a new major commitment to support the College's greatest needs through the Annual Fund for Potsdam, as well as numerous gifts in support of new spaces on campus, including the newly renovated Maxcy Hall Ice Arena and the Performing Arts Center.

Despite having the smallest enrollment of all 13 comprehensive colleges within SUNY, the Potsdam campus boasts some of the most loyal and generous graduates—ranking No. 2 overall for alumni participation in giving, and second for both the total dollars given by alumni and amount raised per student. According to the most recent Voluntary Support of Education statistics, SUNY Potsdam ranks No. 18 in the nation among public master's-granting institutions for the percentage of alumni who give to their alma mater.

The strategic priorities of the Take the Lead Campaign are academic excellence, scholarships, student experiences, the Annual Fund for Potsdam and the arts.

Metropolitan Opera star Stephanie Blythe '92 and acclaimed bestselling novelist T.C. Boyle '68 are the Honorary Co-Chairs for the Take the Lead Campaign. Michael Galane '74, a senior director for the Hewlett-Packard Company, and famed lyric soprano Lisa Vroman '79 both serve as National Chairs. Rounding out the Campaign Steering Committee are: Lynne Boles '74, William Flynn '70, Deborah Diefendorf Hind '75, Gary Hind '77, Janice Rowlands Johnson '56, Christine Meda '70 and J. Richard Munro.

For more information about Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.