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SUNY Potsdam Raises More Than $3 Million from Alumni & Supporters in 2016-17

July 5, 2017

Even though SUNY Potsdam wrapped up a six-year, $33.5 million comprehensive campaign in 2016, donor passion hasn’t abated. Over the 2016-17 fiscal year, the College garnered more than $3.2 million in gifts and new pledges, continuing to build on SUNY Potsdam supporters’ remarkable record of generosity.

“I continue to be amazed at the deep devotion that SUNY Potsdam alumni and donors hold for this institution and its students. Their remarkable generosity opens doors of opportunity for the next generation of Potsdam graduates,” said President Kristin G. Esterberg.

As of June 30, 2017, SUNY Potsdam had raised $3,289,077 in gifts and pledges in the 2016-17 fiscal year, once again surpassing the College’s annual goal. This continued high level of donor engagement was particularly impactful for scholarship support and unrestricted giving, which is used to meet the College’s greatest needs.

Following are just a few examples of the opportunities that gifts have made possible at SUNY Potsdam this year:

  • Fifteen music business students were able to travel to Anaheim, Calif., for the world’s largest music industry convention, the NAMM Show, where they interned with top companies such as Yamaha and Sabian. Thanks to donor support, students were also able to take part in day-long visits with music industry professionals—this year, getting a behind-the-scenes look at Line 6, which specializes in guitar amps and effects pedals.
  • Travel abroad: The 25 student members of the Crane Latin Ensemble traveled to SUNY Potsdam’s new partner institution, the Universidad de Cienfuegos in Cuba, in March 2017. Their trip wouldn’t have been possible without donor support. The students completed a music performance and educational tour, attending intensive workshops, and getting to study and play Afro-Cuban music alongside master Cuban musicians.
  • New equipment:
    • SUNY Potsdam’s new exercise science program is already one of the fastest-growing majors on campus, and now it has a fully equipped educational lab, outfitted with cutting-edge equipment such as VO2 max testing equipment.
    • The Center for Applied Learning recently received a 3D printer from an alumnus, so students and faculty can experiment with this rapidly growing technology.
    • An alumnus donated an atomic absorption spectrometer to the Department of Chemistry, which will greatly enhance student and faculty research.
    • Politics students will benefit from new computer equipment for the department’s student research lab, where they work on projects such as public opinion polling and the Soliya dialogue project, in which they engage in live, moderated video conversations with other students from around the world.
  • Conference travel: Donor support makes it possible for a number of undergraduate and graduate students to travel to present their research at professional and educational conferences each year, such as a group that was able to network at this year’s Association of Mathematics Teachers of New York State meeting.
  • Faculty support: Philanthropic giving has bolstered resources to help SUNY Potsdam faculty design instructional multimedia for use in instructional technology courses.
  • Arts engagement: The Lougheed-Kofoed Festival of the Arts, better known as the LoKo Festival, just completed its sixth season. Thanks to generous donors, this annual event brings together campus and community for the largest and most comprehensive artistic festival offered in the North Country.
  • Donor funds made it possible for student-athletes to participate in spring training trips. Donors also provided funds to purchase training equipment, practice gear, portable dugouts, and to renovate the men’s basketball team locker room.

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 third overall for alumni participation in giving. SUNY Potsdam also ranks third among SUNY comprehensive colleges for dollars raised per student, and in the total dollar amount of alumni giving.

According to the most recent Voluntary Support of Education statistics, SUNY Potsdam ranks No. 19 in the nation among public master’s-granting institutions for the percentage of alumni who give to their alma mater.

Established in 1968, the Potsdam College Foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to stewarding the continued growth of private giving in support of SUNY Potsdam. Its mission is to ensure a quality future for the College and its people, by establishing endowments to support scholarships and programs to ensure campus needs are met. To learn more about giving back to SUNY Potsdam, visit

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit

For Media Inquiries

Jason Hunter, College Communications (315) 267-2114

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