During the fall 2013 semester, we dedicated the Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation and the Rice Creek Field Station, launching unlimited opportunities for faculty and student exploration, learning and research. In doing so, we expressed gratitude for the foresight and generosity made tangible through the various resources that funded these forward-looking projects, which are part of a decade-long transformation of campus.
That these state-of-the-art facilities are available is a testament to the reputation of SUNY Oswego as a premier college, one that attracts various funding sources, including those from the State University Construction Fund. It is also an example of philanthropy in action, a tribute to Oswego’s many faithful private and corporate benefactors.
A shining star in our galaxy of generous supporters is professor emerita Barbara Palmer Shineman ’65 M ’71, who—in concert with the Richard S. Shineman Foundation—gave a naming gift of $5 million, the largest cash gift in the history of the college, in memory of her husband, who was the founding chair of the chemistry department. I was honored on Oct. 4, 2013 to dedicate our new monument to learning and discovery in the name of Richard S. Shineman, Ph.D.
Rejuvenation of the physical face of SUNY Oswego is a major factor in ensuring this college’s status as a nucleus of excellence in higher education. It also reminds us of our role as a major contributor to the economic vigor of Central New York.
With that role in mind, I serve on the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council and chair the board of directors of CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity. With presidents of other SUNY colleges in Central New York, I watch Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s innovative business incentive plan, StartUpNY, which is designed to nurture new ventures on or near university campuses, a move that would benefit our students through the establishment of internships and cooperative education programs.
Oswego is already positioned to attract potential entrepreneurs, offering features that include our School of Business, perennially ranked among the best in the Northeast, and academic specialties in such growing fields as electrical and computer engineering, software engineering, human-computer interaction, health services and biochemistry.
These are exciting times for Oswego, and I see innovation propelling us forward in every facet of our college. One example is the flurry of excitement that swept through the Oswego social media population when, on 11/12/13, alumni benefactors Jim Kaden ’78 and Debbie Adams-Kaden ’78 spearheaded our first 24-hour challenge. They pledged $11,121.30 if, on that date, 100 donors contributed to The Fund for Oswego. Oswego College Foundation Board member Bob Moritz ’85 upped the challenge with a pledge of the same amount if 250 donors signed on. With social media buzzing, another generous alumni couple secured their gift with a challenge of 500 donors. Each challenge was met, with a final tally of 605 donors comprising members of classes from 1940 through 2014, along with current and past staff and faculty members.
Oswego’s course has been set. Students, faculty, alumni and the wider community have already derived benefits from the implementation of our many recent initiatives. We move forward now with deliberate intent as we continue to serve as an economic anchor for our region and to reach for exceptional educational opportunities for Oswego’s faculty scholars, knowledgeable students and valued alumni.
–President Deborah F. Stanley