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Helping the Bears Roar Back

After a full year of canceled competitions, socially-distanced practices and facilities challenged by changing protocols, the Potsdam Bears are back! Across 10 days in April, Bears Roaring Back—the first-ever annual campaign to support Potsdam Bears Athletics—raised $72,723 from 677 donors. Generosity from alumni, former and current student-athletes, parents, friends, coaches and faculty/staff will improve the student-athlete experience and recreational opportunities for all SUNY Potsdam students.

“Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of all our donors, the inaugural Bears Roaring Back campaign was wildly successful. Every team and every student-athlete will benefit from the funds raised during two special weeks last April, and we can’t wait for Bears fans to see just how big a difference their donations made. We are so grateful for all our supporters, and we’re so excited to get back out on the field, rink and court to make all of them proud.”

Mark Misiak ’12 Director of Athletics/Head Women’s Soccer Coach

Support for the first Bears Roaring Back campaign aimed to accomplish three goals:

  • Improve the student-athlete experience and campus-wide athletic programs
  • Provide competitive advantages for players to continue the SUNY Potsdam tradition of academic and athletic excellence
  • Leverage resources to recruit and retain talented student-athletes


  • Exceeded 205-person donor goal by 330%
  • 677 donors from 27 states and 54 class years
  • Team with most number of supporters: Men’s Basketball
  • 100% of varsity athletic teams and campus-wide recreational programs raised support

In spring 2022, athletic teams and campus recreation services will prepare to build on their initial success with Bears Roaring On, the second annual campaign for Potsdam Bears Athletics.

Bears Roaring Back was one of six special giving initiatives hosted by SUNY Potsdam’s Annual Giving Program in 2020-21. Other annual campaigns included Giving Tuesday and Charter the Path. In total, 4,959 donors supported the SUNY Potsdam community through annual gifts. Learn more about the Annual Giving Program.