With Passion & Purpose: The Campaign for SUNY Oswego holds public launch on October 16, 2014
Every day, donors make a difference in the lives of SUNY Oswego students. Some gifts have a very tangible presence on campus—like a memorial bench in a scenic spot along Lake Ontario shores, a refurbished café for students to grab a coffee and study, an indoor corridor that links buildings together to keep students dry and warm as they change classes orsignage for the Shineman Center or Marano Campus Center representing our growing endowment.
Other donations provide the resources to ensure our campus is filled with the brightest minds and exceptional opportunities. These gifts create scholarships to recruit top students to SUNY Oswego, excellence funds that offer private college experiences at a public college price and endowed professorships that attract to campus the finest teacher-scholars and expert practitioners who deliver innovative and engaging curriculum.
Gifts of all sizes support the unique programs that make a SUNY Oswego education exceptional, including programs that bring together current students with successful alumni such as the Alumni-In-Residence (AIR) program, NYC Career Connections, Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit, the Ernst & Young Lecture Series, student travel and conference opportunities and state-of-the-art equipment.
Students are benefiting from this broad range of donor-funded spaces, programs and opportunities on a daily basis. Here’s a look at philanthropy in action on campus during a single 24-hour period.
The date is Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014—the public launch of “With Passion and Purpose: The Campaign for SUNY Oswego”— a day filled with Oswego pride.
The events of Oct. 16 begin at the stroke of midnight with the 24-Hour Challenge, a giving challenge sponsored by ESPN’s Steve Levy ’87. The rules: If 750 alumni and friends make their gifts on this day, Levy will give $40,000 to The Fund for Oswego.
Robin McAleese ’93 M’95 makes the first gift to The Fund for Oswego—only 749 gifts to go!
Brian Hurd ’94 M’00 shows his support for his alma mater from Australia, while most of the Oswego community sleeps. He tweets:
@brian7n: @oswegoalumni It’s afternoon tea time in Sydney! Time to donate to the 24-Hour Challenge! #oswego24hr #oswegopride #campaign4Oz
The Oswegonian News Editor Luke Parsnow ’15 decides to stay in the college newspaper office all night with his peers in order to do what is normally two days’ worth of work—putting a newspaper together—in a single day. He is busy designing the layout for Friday’s issue, which will feature the 2014 Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit—a cover story that can’t be written until after 4 p.m., a mere four hours from deadline.
Students are filling the Marano Campus Center for the live broadcast of “Wake Up with Al” and “Today” with Al Roker ’76, equipped with Oswego apparel and signs adorned with “Oswego Loves Al Roker,” “We Woke Up Yesterday to Be Here ‘TODAY,’” an oversized Roker head and the conventional “Hi, Mom!”
Student editor Parsnow sends his assistant JoAnn DeLauter ’17 and Copy Editor Cassidy Carroll ’15 out to take pictures of and interview dozens of SUNY Oswego students who have camped out in the building all night in anticipation.
Michael Medina ’16, a public relations student, wakes up at Oneida Hall where he is a resident assistant and gets ready for his day. About an hour later, he’s at the Marano Campus Center, where he’ll join staff and students from the Office of New Student Orientation to help with crowd control on the “Wake Up With Al” and “Today” show.
Medina is the first person in his family to go to college and came to Oswego through the Possibility Scholars program. Oswego led him to discover his interest in helping people more than crunching numbers, so he changed his major from math to public relations. His grades earned him the Presidential Scholarship, and he is optimistic about his future. “I am extremely grateful for all that SUNY Oswego has offered me,” Medina says. “All of the opportunities that have come my way as a student here allowed me to gain the necessary experiences to further my education. I look forward to what comes next.”
The cameras are ready. The lights are on. Roker, the Weather Channel and NBC crews, President Stanley and crowds of students are in place in the Marano Campus Center. There is an excited chatter of speculation as the campus eagerly awaits the big moment.
The Weather Channel producer counts down from five on her right hand then points to the crowd of students outside the Al Roker ’76 Television Studio. They cheer as “Wake Up with Al” goes live. “Good morning! Thanks for watching ‘Wake Up with Al.’”
Tomasina Boyd Boone ’93 cannot explain how she ended up in a place they call “Oz” twice in her life. At home in “Oz” (a nickname for Australia, which also shares her alma mater’s colors of green and gold), Boone reconnects to her “old Oz” in Oswego by participating in the 24-Hour Challenge. After making her gift online, she tweets:
“Tweets are cheap put ur $$ where your tweet is, I just did! @oswegoalumni #Campaign4Oz”
A native of Harlem, N.Y., and a former Oswego Alumni Association board member, she says SUNY Oswego became a safe haven that helped nurture her into the woman she is today—a successful entrepreneur who was not afraid to move abroad on a moment’s notice.
Between takes, Roker banters with the students outside the Al Roker ’76 Television Studio. “How many of you are meteorology majors?”
Roker introduces SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley and student storm chasers Molly Matott ’15 and Andrew Janiszeski ’15. Matott and Janiszeski describe their learning experience of traveling across the Midwest annually chasing severe weather systems with the SUNY Oswego storm chasing team. “We saw storms in their full glory. It was absolutely amazing,” Matott says.
The NBC producer and crew are preparing Roker for his segment. Blaise Hill ’14, a senior broadcasting student, was selected to shadow the NBC crew as a production assistant during the morning broadcasts. Hill takes cues from Jackie Olensky of NBC, moving crowds of students, adjusting the set and running television wires throughout the Marano Campus Center. Hill knows that his involvement is not something every college student will experience:
“A lot of what we do at WTOP has helped me prepare for this role, but it’s eye-opening working with such a large-scale network.”
He was selected because of his role as student producer of the evening event, “The Tomorrow Show,” and his involvement with WTOP, the student-run, on-campus television station.
The “Today” show throws the segment to Roker, who stands in front of a crowd of cheering SUNY Oswego students. Roker tells the other cast members he’s back in town for the 10th Annual Media Summit, an event he helped rename in 2007 in honor of one of his Oswego mentors, former Communication Studies Department Chair Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell. Roker gives his national weather report and closes the segment with his trademark lines: “That’s what’s going on around the country. Here’s what’s happening in your neck of the woods.”
Hundreds of thousands of people tune into the “Today” show each morning, including many Oswego alumni and friends. Deyadira “Betty” Diaz ’02 tweets:
@BettyDiazNBCU: Awesome to see #greenandgold represented on the TV screen in the AM with @alroker at Oswego @oswegoalumni #ProudAlum
Roker takes an on-air tour of the Al Roker ’76 Television Studio during a segment and meets some of the student broadcasters. He commends the students for their professionalism and jokingly warns them not to take his job. “This is all very state of the art compared to when I was a student,” he says.
The phone lines officially open for the 24-Hour Challenge. The Annual Fund staff members discover that 60 gifts came in since midnight to jumpstart the challenge and their workday!
One of the Media Summit panelists, 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winner Connie Schultz, makes a special visit to The Oswegonian office and talks about her experiences as a journalist, her work and how she has never seen such a student response like she has at SUNY Oswego.
Roker steps outside the Marano Campus Center to record some teasers for local news stations NBC 3 in Central New York, News 10 NBC in Rochester and WTOP 10-TV. A few students on their way to class stop to watch. Among them, broadcasting major Jaclyn Hart ’15 holds a sign saying “Al Roker Studios Gave Me My Start. Thank You.”
Roker introduces a pre-taped segment to the other “Today” show hosts, touring his old haunts during his time as a student. “I got to go around campus,” Roker says, “And you know what? Things haven’t changed much. No! They’ve changed completely. Take a look.” The crowd of students in the Marano Campus Center turn to the televisions around the room to watch as Roker tours the campus live on “Today.” Roker meets the young women living in his old room, 319 Onondaga Hall; visits WRVO, the on-campus NPR radio station in Penfield Library; and orders some lunch from the Oswego Sub Shop. “Back in the day, I could do two subs at a time,” Roker says, before the segment ends.
Emily Birchall ’15 is studying when the “Today” show clip from campus comes on the TV in the Wall Street Market in Rich Hall, home to the School of Business. Her father, John Birchall ’79, lived across the hall from Roker during his college days.
Student veterans Matthew Gordon ’16, U.S. Marine and cinema and screen studies major; Robert E. Lee ’17, U.S. Army and broadcasting and mass communication major; Ben Nordmark III ’15, U.S. Navy and medieval and Renaissance history major; and Kenneth Cisson ’15, U.S. Army and business administration major, along with Ben Parker, Oswego’s veteran services coordinator, are still smiling after chatting with Al Roker about his charity work with the U.S.O. and presenting him with a camouflage Oswego jersey during one of the breaks in the live broadcast. The veterans say they feel very supported on the campus and grateful for the efforts of alumni like Lt. Col. Mike Waters ’70 USAF (Ret.), who established a scholarship for veterans and created a Veterans Emergency Loan Fund. He also supported the Veterans Lounge Fund to give student veterans a place on campus to call their own. Col. Jack James ’62, USMC (Ret.) instituted a salute to veterans at the college’s annual Reunion, and sponsored pins to recognize alumni military service by branch.
Visiting Assistant Professor Marybeth Longo ’11 welcomes Career Connectors Cameron Jones ’09, an Emmy Award-winning producer of “Good Morning America,” and Shea O’Connell ’12 of VH1 into her BRC 235 Intro to Video Production. They have returned to discuss the current media landscape and share advice with students as part of the 2014 Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit, founded by Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ’77, chief marketing officer and investor, nimbleTV.
Megan Terry ’16 finds a spot in the Lake Effect Café, a relaxed and modern space within the Penfield Library supported by gifts from Carolyn and Lester Gosier ’37 and Marion Adam Narayan ’81 and Emeritus Professor Jack Narayan. The café was one of the first places on campus to be funded by donors. She opens her laptop to finish up a paper for her pedagogy and social injustice class. She will draw on the lessons from this class when she becomes an early childhood education teacher focused on children with special needs.
“What I tell any of the students or the young people who work for me is, you want to be marketable,” says Jeff Gibbs ’80, speaking to students in Joan Carroll’s Accounting 201 class in Rich Hall.
“You want to have options. And how you have options is you have a passion about what you want to do, because if you have a passion for something, you’re generally much better at it. ”
Gibbs and alumni Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham ’86, Patrick Murphy ’74, Curt Schultzberg ’87 and Kate Wilcox ’11 are on campus for the annual School ofBusiness Symposium, co-sponsored by the Oswego Alumni Association, with support from The Fund for Oswego.
Curt Schultzberg ’87 stresses the importance of networking to students in Jin Pei Wu’s Management 495 class. His current job came through an introduction from a friend, who knew the CEO.
“You’re going to have a lot of jobs, and you’re going to have circumstances that are sometimes going to be difficult,” Schultzberg says. “And the way to get around all of that, regardless of whether you’re gainfully employed or not, is to always reach out to people. Network. Keep those lines of communication open with everybody.”
Alexander Blaise ’15 M’16, an accounting and economics major, comes to check answers on an Intermediate Micro Theory test in his favorite spot—the Teaching Resource Center on Penfield’s second floor, which was renovated, thanks to a gift from Dr. Barbara Palmer Shineman ’65 M’71, to include a study corner overlooking Lake Ontario. The informal library space provides him the comfort and quiet missing in his off-campus apartment. He expects that he’ll be spending less time here next semester when he begins a 25-hour a week paid internship at Firley, Moran, Freer & Eassa in Syracuse.
Career Connector Stephanie Sweeney ’11 talks with students in Professor Woomi Shim’s COM 315 Design and Layout for Media class. After graduation, she spent a year in broadcast sales in Syracuse, N.Y., before heading west to manage social media for Copper Mountain Resort, near Denver. Soon after, she was promoted to public relations coordinator and regularly interfaces with such outlets as the New York Times, ESPN and NBC.
Patrick Murphy ’74 has worked for many years in human resources, including such companies as Procter & Gamble, LEGO and others. He tells students in Human Resource Management 386, taught by Steven Abraham, that this is an exciting time to enter the workforce. “With the Baby Boomers migrating out of the workforce, I think there’s going to be a huge gap,” Murphy says. “So it’s exciting times ahead of you, and I think there’s going to be a ton of opportunity, and you’re being trained well here at the college to be ready for that in the future.”
In the middle of the Charles L. Wiley ’22 Concourse, members of the student-run TV station, WTOP, take a break between the early morning activity with Al Roker and their next big event, the Red Carpet show, the live pre-show to the Media Summit. Then many will work “The Tomorrow Show,” the public launch of the college’s $40 million campaign. Behind the glass windows of the hallway, members of The Oswegonian look through their images from this morning, trying to find the best one to run in tomorrow’s paper. They joke about which person in the room will become famous and provide the naming gift for the newspaper’s office like Roker did for WTOP.
Thousands of tweets, links and photos are posted and shared by excited students and community members. “@alroker” and “@sunyoswego” reach the No. 1 and No. 2 trending topics on Twitter in New York State.
Broadcasting majors DJ Manou ’16 and Mike Rifkin ’16 grab their seats for the “Let’s Talk Cleveland” panel in the Marano Campus Center auditorium. Moderated by Dr. Dave Moody, the panel features Steve Levy ’87, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Connie Schultz and Mission Broadcasting Inc. President Dennis Thatcher.
“Steve Levy is the reason I came to Oswego,” Manou says. “I absolutely want to meet him. It kind of makes you think that if he can do it, maybe it could happen for me, too.”
“Let’s Talk Cleveland,” an hour-long conversation weaves together national headlines about Cleveland with the experiences of each panelist. For example, panelists share their perspective on NBA star LeBron James’ 2010 primetime decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat and his less dramatic announcement that he was returning to his hometown team for the 2014-15 season. The conversation moves toward the Cleveland Browns’ Johnny Manziel, nicknamed “Johnny Football,” and on to “Chief Wahoo,” the controversial logo of Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians.
As the panel wraps up, Manou heads to the front of the room, and waits for his moment to shake hands with Levy, poses for a photo with him and tells the ESPN anchor that he inspired him to attend Oswego.
Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham ‘86 shares her career story with students taking Strategic Communications in Business, taught by Mary Toale. Higginbotham recalls how she went from being an assistant at an investment bank to starting her own company to founding Women TIES, an organization that helps other female entrepreneurs in New York connect with each other. “Everywhere in your career you should be taking a step up,” she says. “You might not know where you’re going. It’s when you look back behind you someday and see how it makes sense. You’ve connected all these dots along the way. It makes sense that every job has led to another job for me.”
Kate Wilcox ’11 shares a genius tip with students in Ashraf Attia’s marketing class: make your class projects count for bullet points on your resume. While she was advertising manager for The Oswegonian, she surveyed readers for a class project that became a 30-page booklet she could take on sales calls. After sharing the booklet with her biggest client, her sales went from $7,000 to $15,000 in one year. “That was huge, and that was an awesome experience to talk about,” Wilcox says.
Telefund students begin calling donors and prospective donors.
Media Summit panelists and Career Connectors gather for lunch with President Stanley, faculty and staff, and student organizers. Following lunch, Media Summit participants pose for formal photos.
Broadcasting and mass communication major Matthew Kraut ’15 was at the front of the line for the 10th Annual Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit, waiting outside of the Marano Campus Center arena with Shinnell Burroughs ‘15, a Presidential Scholarship recipient. “I was at the Media Summit for the past three years,” said Kraut, who has been at Marano since 5:15 a.m. for “Wake Up With Al” and the “Today” show. “Why mess with tradition?”
Public Relations student Brittany Sperino Horsford ‘14 meets up with Public Affairs staff member Jeff Rea ’71 in the Eagle Beverage Hearth Lounge in the Marano Campus Center. She assists with the media who have shown up to interview Media Summit participants Ken Auletta ’63, Al Roker ’76, Charlie Rose, Connie Schultz and Dennis Thatcher. She is excited to gain experience in media relations and help run her first press conference. Local television stations set up cameras and lighting to record the interviews. After 20 minutes of Q&A, the panelists are whisked off for the start of the Media Summit.
At the request of student telefund manager Chris Magill ’15 via Twitter, Steve Levy ’87 walks across campus to Sheldon Hall to meet the 24-Hour Challenge telefund callers, accompanied by his college roommate Todd Sloth ’87.
The students are making calls as Levy steps into the telefund room. Steve chats with the callers, tweets about the challenge and takes photos with the students. “You put me on the phone with the next person that makes a gift,” Levy says. Sloth shows his support for his friend’s giving challenge by making his gift to The Fund for Oswego in person. “I just want to say thank you so much for donating,” Steve says over the headset to Todd Wakefield ’88, who makes a $1,000 gift to the challenge while Steve is in the telefund room. Throughout the day, the 35 student telefund callers will make 7,053 calls, securing 212 gifts for a total of $14,425.
Charlie Rose stands at the lectern wearing the academic regalia of a newly christened doctor of humane letters from SUNY Oswego.
“Hello future alums and hello to people who are part of this magnificent university,” he says. Rose, a media icon who has interviewed world leaders, pop stars and Nobel laureates, had just received the honorary doctorate after being introduced by President Stanley and his close friend Ken Auletta ’63. He’s scheduled to participate later in the Media Summit, and he’s impressed with what he’s seen during his first visit to the campus.
“I am deeply honored to accept this,” he says. “First of all, this is a student-run event, which says a lot about the students here. It’s been a sheer pleasure to be introduced to this community by them, so I congratulate you once again.”
He says he was flattered when Auletta called to ask if he’d accept the honorary degree from Oswego. He was doubly flattered when he learned the idea came not from Auletta, but from Stanley, who wanted to bring the PBS “Charlie Rose” host and “CBS This Morning” co-host to campus.
“I’ve had the great honor to get to know President Stanley today and more about you,” Rose says.
Al Roker ’76 shows his #OswegoPride to his audience of more than 340K followers:
“@alroker I’m at the #OzMediaSummit watching @charlierose get an honorary doctorate @sunyoswego”
When the Media Summit started 10 years ago, there was no YouTube. Facebook was only available to college students, Google had just gone public and the first iPhone was still three years away.
Since then, traditional media have fought to survive amid an increasingly digital landscape. Pulitzer Prize-winner Connie Schultz, one of the panelists for this year’s Media Summit, tells the crowd of about 600 people—mostly students—that the industry desperately needs smart, young problem solvers.
“That’s one of the reasons I come to summits such as this, because I think the solution is in this audience,” Schultz says. “I think that you already know how you find news, how you process news, how you report news. I suspect you probably have some ideas for how you could be monetizing that.”
As the Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit celebrates its 10th year, newspapers, magazines and television stations are tightening their belts and journalists are struggling to find jobs.
The summit, held at Marano Campus Center arena, was organized around the topic, “Pros and Cons of the Digital Revolution.” It features a panel of luminaries including media icon Charlie Rose, media critic and technology writer Ken Auletta ’63, “Today” show co-host Al Roker ’76 and television executive Dennis Thatcher in addition to Schultz.
Speakers also have advice for students in the audience:
ABOUT PASSION: “The earlier you know where your passion is, find a way to be around people who do that,” says Rose. “You will find a way to contribute to that, and they will recognize what you can do.”
Thatcher says to get internships and touch as many people as possible. “You’ll find, whether you’re at a local newspaper, or a broadcast television station, radio station, everyone will be generous with their time,” he says. “If you’re interested, you want to do this for a living, and you’ve got passion, people will sit down with you and tell you what it’s all about and how to get from one place to the next.”
ABOUT PURPOSE: “I think it’s really important, and now is a perfect time, to make a list of what you stand for,” says Schultz. “It’s really important to know your own values. It can be your journalistic values. This is who I am. This is what matters to me. Because you’re going to be challenged on that a lot, more so than I ever was when I got into this profession. I do think there are opportunities at smaller publications, but not in the numbers there used to be. But there’s no such thing as a small job.”
Allen Wengert ’14 tweets:
@AllenWengert12 Best media summit yet. Go @sunyoswego, go @OZCommStudies, go @oswegoalumni. Proud to be part of the family.
“He’s helpful from the moment that students step on campus until and beyond when they leave campus,”
Stanley says.“He understands that the experience they gained, wide scope and varied experience, is really important. And he knows that they need a helping hand. We all need a helping hand along the way.”
Roker praises Borrelli for supporting SUNY Oswego, for expanding everyone’s understanding of the media and for enriching the college experience for Oswego students. “Without you, this wonderful summit might have started,” Roker says. “But I don’t think it would have the breadth and depth as it has.”
The Media Summit’s Career Connectors—Jeremy Donovan ’10, Derek Dunning ’09, Cameron Jones ’09, Shea O’Connell ’12, Stephanie Sweeney ’11, Kate Wilcox ’11 and Jeanne Yacono ’11—head to a nearby conference room to serve on a panel that will give students a more informal setting to ask questions relating to careers in communications. They speak to a standing-room only crowd of students who are eager to learn how to secure that first job out of college.
“The Tomorrow Show” Welcome Reception, hosted by the Sheldon Legacy Society, begins in the Marano Campus Center Activity Court. Sheldon Legacy Society Chair Jack James ’62 welcomes the guests before musician Jeff Sawyer ’87 returns to the keyboard for a few more tunes.
The Art Department hosts artist Edward Kelley who begins a molten-iron pour for an outdoor sculpture on a portion of lawn adjacent to Oneida Hall. His 10-foot-tall sculpture, “Bell Tower,” is one of five large pieces being featured in a two-year exhibition. Benjamin Entner of the Art Department and Rich Bush ’92 M’97 of the technology department say this iron pour is a significant teaching-learning demonstration for their students.
As gifts stream into the office, the Annual Fund staff members realize that they may be close to reaching the 750 donor mark. As they process the gifts, they confirm Richard Galvin ’70 earns the distinction of being the 750th person to make a gift to SUNY Oswego today. The college community has met Steve Levy’s challenge and has secured his $40,000 gift to The Fund for Oswego. They track down senior staff members who are welcoming “The Tomorrow Show” guests to share the good news.
Matthew Bishop ’14, who was hired immediately after graduation to direct and produce “The Tomorrow Show,” gathers his crew for final instruction. He has never been this calm before a broadcast, but he’s also never been as fortunate to work with this group of Professionals with GPAs. Not many 22-year-olds can say their first professional gig starred an ESPN SportsCenter anchor and a college president. He heads to the production truck to begin mic and camera checks.
Doors open for “The Tomorrow Show,” a live student broadcast production, hosted by President Stanley and ESPN’s SportsCenter Anchor Steve Levy ’87. The broadcast will highlight the signature programs and experiences of Oswego’s faculty and students. A few hundred alumni, donors, board members, faculty and students take their seats in the Marano Campus Center arena, which has been transformed into a TV broadcast studio with a news anchor desk and soft seating area for interviews with guests. Backstage, WTOP broadcast students prepare their equipment, attach wireless microphones to their guests and make last minute adjustments.
More than 1,500 people from five countries and 27 states tune in to the live videostream as a countdown from 10 takes over the 11.5 by 22 foot screen that lines the back of “The Tomorrow Show” stage. A video of students in a variety of settings plays to the Commencement Eve Torchlight remarks of alumna Meghan Milewski ’11:
“Remember when you first landed on the shores of SUNY Oswego. You came into Oswego’s harbor as a small ship with an empty hull …
Remember to point your compass in Oswego’s direction and to return to its shore. Remember to give back to Oswego to help strengthen the vessels of future students and to allow Oswego to remain the guiding lighthouse that it once was for you.”
As she finishes the last sentence, the footage soars over the Oswego Harbor, past the lighthouse, high above main campus, Rice Creek and the Shineman Center, swooping over the cupola and the Sheldon statue and eventually bursting through the north wall of the Marano Campus Center arena.
President Stanley and Levy walk onto stage in bomber jackets and parachutes, picking off the branches they’ve gathered during their journey over campus while the audience chuckles at their theatrical entrance. “I always said SUNY Oswego would take you to new heights, and we have, as you can see,” Levy jokes.
President Stanley takes a moment to welcome Levy and the guests watching “The Tomorrow Show,” and officially announces the college’s $40 million campaign, With Passion and Purpose. “The good news is that we’re already at $31 million!” President Stanley announces over the cheers of the audience.
She goes on to thank two women whose gifts “have really stood out” during the past year and a half: Dr. Barbara Palmer Shineman ’65 M’71 and the Richard S. Shineman Foundation who donated $5 million to name the new Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation in honor of her late husband and the founding chair of Oswego’s chemistry department; and the late Lorraine Marano, who left a $7.5 million estate gift to Oswego to primarily endow scholarships for first-generation students. The college recognized her generosity by naming the Lorraine E. and Nunzio C. Marano Campus Center in her and her husband’s honor.
“May all who pass through the Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation be devoted to helping others reach their stars,”
Dr. Shineman says in a video.
The video moves from images of students within the Shineman Center to the varied academic, social, cultural and athletic activities in which students participate within the Marano Campus Center.
“My dear friend Lorraine Marano was a highly educated woman who believed in the value of education and considered her gift a gift to the community,” says Theresa Sugar Scanlon, trustee of the Lorraine E. Marano Living Trust. “She hoped to help keep a college education affordable for all students, especially those who are the first in their families to attend college.”
President Stanley explains how the college will use the funds raised in the campaign, focusing in three areas:
- enhancing the campus resources, facilities and employees
- supporting students through scholarships, experiential learning opportunities and success programs
- protecting the college into the future by growing the endowment
From his weather studio in New York City, Al Roker delivers his campaign forecast to “The Tomorrow Show” viewers:
“We’ve got a sweeping front moving over the eastern seaboard region that’s got the potential to pick up a lot of support for The Fund for Oswego. The outpouring of gifts could be heavy at times, especially in and around the Big Apple and across the lake-effect regions of Central New York.
“We love what we’re seeing in the extended forecast for Oswego. I’d say this one is going in the record books—we’re going to reach our historic $40 million goal with your help. That’s what’s going on around Laker country, and here’s what’s happening in our neck of the woods.”
The show goes to “commercial,” which features Jennifer Shropshire ’86, Alumni Association board member and the national chair of The Fund for Oswego, saying: “SUNY Oswego ignited my passion for working in the arts.”
In the next commercial, Sheldon Legacy Society Steering Committee Chair Jack James ’62 promotes planned giving and his reasons for including Oswego in his will. “Those of us who can have a responsibility to give back in some way,” James says. “Oswego gave us a lot. It gave us a great start in life.”
A commercial for the School of Business touts its international accreditation, national rankings, online programs and unique five-year combined BS/MBA programs.
In the last commercial, College Foundation Board Member Steve Doran ’82 says, “At SUNY Oswego, I found purpose in academia and helping others.”
At the news desk, President Stanley talks about the college’s evolution from one classroom with nine students into today’s campus with 8,000 students, 1,000 faculty and staff members and more than 110 academic degree programs. She highlights the three R’s: reputation, rankings and relevance.
President Stanley introduces her first guest, Dr. Damian Schofield, the director of the human-computer interaction program. Schofield explains his burgeoning field of study and brings along a robot to help. “What we study is what humans do with technology, not the technology itself,” he says. For example, Schofield and his students work with seven NAO robots who have been used to help sick children who won’t open up to their doctor, feel more comfortable discussing their illness. Oswego students also program them to dance, sing and act. The British-born scientist tells the president that initially he wasn’t sure about accepting the offer of work, but the plans for the new Shineman Building changed his mind. “It’s been a fantastic move,” he says. “I sit in my office, look out over that lake and think ‘I’m very lucky to be here.’”
Levy welcomes to the stage Dr. Mary Rodgers, the Marcia Belmar Willock ’50 Professor of Finance with more than 30 years of experience at the investment firm of Merrill Lynch, and Dianora DeMarco ’14 M’15, president of the Student Investment Club. “Not only does the Willock endowment bring me to campus,” Rodgers says, “it lets us bring students to the financial district in Manhattan.”
As the president of the student-run investment club, DeMarco helps manage a portfolio of $100,000 of top companies in the Standard & Poor 500. The fund was donated by SUNY Oswego College Foundation Board Member Gordon A. Lenz ’58 to give students hands-on investment experience. “We get to use the Bloomberg software, which is the exact same software used by brokers on the floor of the stock exchange,” DeMarco says.
“The best part is that we’ve gotten to watch the portfolio grow from $100,000 to $130,000 in less than two years.”
“Where are we with my personal 24-Hour Challenge?” Levy asks. “We’re trying to bring in the door as many donors as we can and raise as much money as we can. As of 7 p.m.—an hour ago—we were up to 888 donors.” He is interrupted by cheers from the audience. “That’s blowing away our goal. We’ve raised upwards of $100,000 already, and now I am told we have a new challenger.”
He tells the audience that College Foundation Board Vice Chair Michael Durney ’83 and his wife, Joanne Snyder Durney ’84, and Alumni Association Board Member Tim Barnhart ’02 and his wife, Andrea, have stepped forward to issue a new challenge. If the college can reach a super goal of 1,016 (10/16—like the historic day), the Durneys will make a gift of $10,161.40 and the Barnharts will make a gift of $6,000 to the college.
“A shout out to all our alumni-athletes, if you make your gift today, it will also count toward the Lakers Athletics Challenge, sponsored by Dan Scaia ’68,” Levy says.
“A member of the 1966 men’s championship soccer team and current Alumni Association board member, Dan has promised to give $25,000 to the Athletics Department if we get 400 alumni-athletes to make a gift between now and the end of the calendar year.”
Accomplished pianist and music professor, Dr. Rob Auler, joins President Stanley to discuss the passion for music, performance and self-expression that he and his colleagues share with their students. He is excited about the renovations to Tyler Hall and Waterman Theatre. “We’re most excited about these new recording studios, brand new rehearsal spaces, brand new teaching spaces,” he says. “Personally, I’m excited that the Steinways are on their way. They’re being refurbished.”
President Stanley talks about preparing students for a globalized workforce and society. She explains that SUNY Oswego is recruiting more international students to study on campus and has created several programs, such as the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) courses, to ensure interaction between Oswego students and the global community. The Summer Scholars program and the Global Labs initiative bring SUNY Oswego students to the research facilities of our educational partners in locations across the globe. “These are rich experiences where students deal with the grand challenges of our time and work in laboratories around the world—usually at world-class universities, and explore, research and discover,” she says.
A video plays showing biology student Roodline Cineus ’15 working with patients at a health clinic in Haiti and talking about how the experience
has changed her. She joins President Stanley on stage to discuss her travel study experiences and her plans to become a medical doctor. “Going to Haiti gave me firsthand experiences and understanding of the health challenges of a country that is not as wealthy and fortunate as America,” she says.
“And for that, I have a deep appreciation of how the slightest care or the slightest concern can help change someone else’s life. And I’m really grateful that I had this opportunity. I am grateful for my professors, and family and friends who tell me over and over that I can change the world if I want to.”
Levy provides an overview of the more than 30 graduate degree and certificate programs at SUNY Oswego. He points out that donor-supported initiatives like the Fred ’81 and MaryLynn Barbero Festa ’82 Fellows and the Festa Graduate Assistantship in Men’s Hockey provide leadership and mentoring support for graduate students on campus. Kyle Laughlin M’15, who is the first student awarded the Festa Assistantship, shares his perspective on what the funding has enabled him to experience. “Every time I go into [men’s ice hockey] Coach [Ed ’83 M’01] Gosek’s office, I learn something—whether that’s character development, integrity, the importance of leadership or getting a team to buy into a common goal,” he says. “I can take these things I learn on the ice rink and apply them in the business world and in the business courses I’m taking. And vice versa.”
Dr. Marcia Burrell, chair of the department of curriculum and instruction in the School of Education, builds on President Stanley’s introduction of the school and its roots in the objective learning methods that college founder Edward Austin Sheldon brought to campus 154 years ago.
Today, School of Education students are involved in clinically rich programs, such as the Oswego Residency Initiative for Teacher Excellence (O-RITE), which puts students in classrooms for an entire year, developing lesson plans, co-teaching and experiencing what it’s like to be in the classroom.
“Our programs could not exist without our alumni who live in the area who take our students and mentor them,” Burrell says. ”The faculty members are in the schools longer so we’re marrying the theory and the practice a little bit closer and earlier. So what happens is the faculty member learns, the student learns and the cooperating teacher learns and moves along this clinically rich path together.”
Chief meteorologist at the student-run WTOP television station Molly Matott ’15 tells Levy about her experiences as SUNY Oswego’s mobile snow team coordinator on the NSF-funded Ontario Winter Lake-effect Systems (OWLeS) project. She organized student teams, managed equipment and participated in fieldwork to measure snow depth and density. “We went right into the middle of lake effect bands with 3 to 6 inches per hour,” she says.
She talks about her experience in the Midwest with the Storm Chasers and how they tracked tornadoes, and about her internship at Channel 9 news in Syracuse, N.Y. “My experience as chief meteorologist for WTOP has been a tremendous learning opportunity as well,” she says. “I’ve gotten a lot of hands-on experience on equipment you can use the first day. You don’t have to be a junior or a senior.”
Levy says that accessibility and opportunity to get involved are the hallmarks of a SUNY Oswego education. “We have world-class facilities, and you’re still able to use them as a freshman,” Levy says. “That is what puts Oswego on top of other institutions.”
“We have many, many students like Molly,” President Stanley says. “We hope to meet their expectations of SUNY Oswego. All the time, we’re changing and growing and offering more opportunities for our students to get that deep learning experience.”
As the show heads into its last “commercial” break, a camera picks up live footage from inside the rented Time Warner Cable mobile production truck, where producer Matt Bishop ’14 and some of his student team are calling the show.
One student worker waves. Students have put in hundreds of hours to pull this show together and have learned to use some new professional equipment in between their classes, midterms and “normal” college responsibilities.
The commercial break opens with College Foundation Board Member and PwC U.S. Chairman Bob Moritz ’85 saying: “SUNY Oswego ignited my passion for continuing to invest in my network—my network of friends and hopefully—six degrees of separation—many many other friends beyond that.”
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences commercial boasts about its more than 40 undergraduate majors from American studies to zoology, interdisciplinary programs, dozens of minors and four graduate degree programs. The School of Communication, Media and the Arts showcases students performing, creating and reporting in classes and extracurricular activities. But the biggest commercial for this school tonight may be its students’ hands-on work on the live broadcast of “The Tomorrow Show.”
Campaign Chair Mark Baum ’81 shares his message to viewers through a video he recorded on campus during the first day of classes. “This is a defining moment for SUNY Oswego. Now more than ever, our Oswego family is dedicated to an inspiring global vision, intellectual vigor and affordable access to the highest quality education and overall experience.
“As chairman of this campaign, my purpose has been to provide my alma mater with a margin of excellence for generations of students to come. SUNY Oswego ignited my passion for a lifetime of learning. Now, with passion and purpose together, we can seize this opportunity to shape our college’s future.”
President Stanley and Levy sit together on stage. “All day today people have been talking about the transformative impact of a SUNY Oswego education,” she says. “They’ve really done that by expressing their passion and purpose for what happened here and what happened thereafter in their lives. So you’re up, what about you?”
“SUNY Oswego gave me my passion for the media—to be able to tell stories, to be the go-between the public and the athletes themselves,” Levy says. “My purpose now is to help younger people in my shoes … I try to help all the kids, but especially those who studied here at Oswego.”
President Stanley offers a heartfelt testimonial asking others to support the college in its most ambitious fundraising effort to date and make their gift to The Campaign for SUNY Oswego. “Our goal is within reach, and only with your help can we be assured of the resources that will provide for Oswego’s future. Tonight I ask you to commit to just that—to SUNY Oswego’s future. To be a magnificent and meaningful part of it— with passion and purpose. Thank you!”
The lights go down on “The Tomorrow Show” set. Blaise Hill ’14, hired as an intern to produce the live broadcast, gives Matthew Bishop ’14 a high five and tells him, “This is the greatest show I have ever been a part of, thank you for bringing me in and giving me this opportunity.” Vice President of Alumni and Development Kerry Casey Dorsey ’81 and Campaign Manager Melissa Manwaring ’01 take a moment to stand with Matt and Blaise and reflect upon months of planning and preparation. They share a “we did it!” as President Stanley and Steve Levy ’87 join them for a team photo.
The curtains open to reveal the magnificently transformed ice arena into an elegant nightclub venue designed by Executive Producer MJ Herson and his talented crew of Herson Group Ltd. in Penn Yan, N.Y., who consulted on the campaign launch events.
Biological sciences major Christie Cockayne ’14 M’16 talks about her experiences with the SAVAC, the Student Association Volunteer Ambulance Corps, at one of the six kiosks that feature Oswego students talking about their unique experiences at the college. Beside her at the Internships/Community Service kiosk is public relations student and DKK brother Denvol Haye ’15 who says his experience volunteering at the Child Advocacy Center of Oswego County not only made him recognize his interest in working for nonprofits, but also helped him gain practical experience in putting together a PR campaign and organizing a fundraiser.
College Council member and former Alumni Association board member Saleem Cheeks ’01, a political science major who is a management supervisor at Eric Mower + Associates, swipes his credit card through a Square credit card reader attached to major gift officer Maryanne Cameron’s cell phone and makes his gift to the 24-Hour Challenge.
Pharrell Williams’ pop hit, “Happy,” fills the air, and a flash mob of a couple hundred students swarms the arena floor performing a choreographed dance. The live studio audience joins with President Stanley and SUNY Oswego students in dancing and singing along to the music.
Students from Del Sarte Dance and the Cheerleading clubs stand on stage and lead the flash mob and guests in a hand dance to Kernkraft 400’s “Zombie Nation,” which many people know as the sing-along song from hockey games “Woh oh oh.” Following President Stanley’s lead, the students blast confetti streamers of metallic green and silver high into the air over the arena floor.
As the Cast Party for “The Tomorrow Show” wraps up, friends, Molly Matott ’15 and Bridget Jackson ’15, are glowing from the day full of activity. For Molly, that began with being one of two students featured on “Today” with Al Roker ’76 and then being interviewed by ESPN anchor Steve Levy ’87 who joked during the interview: “Do you want to know why Al Roker ran out of town today? She’ll have his job next week!” The ringing endorsements from nationally recognized alumni and the national exposure of being featured in both broadcasts had Jackson calling Oct. 16 “Molly Matott Day.” Matott added, “I know. I feel like if I go to sleep, I’ll wake up and find out that this was all a dream!”
A highlight of the day for Jackson was reconnecting with “her alumna,” Joan Reinhart Cear ’80. They initially met at New York City Career Connections, an annual event sponsored by the Oswego Alumni Association. Cear encouraged Jackson to apply for a New York Women in Communication scholarship, which Jackson won. Jackson has since secured an internship at Kellen Communications, where Cear serves as vice president.
“This has been a fabulous evening, and it was great seeing Joan,” Jackson says. “She has been a great help to me. I can’t wait to be somebody else’s Joan Cear!”
Heads drooping, The Oswegonian staff finalizes the newspaper and submits the files via the Internet to the printers in Pennsylvania. The story and pictures of the Media Summit lead the front page. A long but historic day for SUNY Oswego is over and documented by this dedicated student team.
Dominick Ianno ’95 knows it’s not too late to show his support. He tweets:
@dominickianno Made my donation to #oswego24hr tonight. Congrats on a great day and hitting your goal! @oswegoalumni
Stephanie Forman ’87 makes her second, and the challenge’s last, gift of the day in memory of Colleen Brunner ’90, who perished on Pan Am Flight 103 on Dec. 21, 1988, on her way home from a semester abroad in London. Forman’s gift will support the Free and Easy Forever Fund, an on-campus memorial honoring the lives of Brunner and fellow traveler Lynne Hartunian ‘89, who also perished on Pan Am Flight 103, and Richard Caproni ‘89 and Michael Hannan ‘89, who died in the 9/11 attacks. “I don’t ever want Colleen to be forgotten,” Forman said. “I make this second donation tonight to show how important she is to so many of us, and to show my support for Oswego.”
By the start of the new day, a grand total of 1,163 donors crushed the 24-Hour Challenge donor goal and raised $143,584.33 for The Fund for Oswego. Their participation secured $56,161.40 in the challenge gifts of Steve Levy ’87, Michael ’83 and Joanne Snyder Durney ’84 and Andrea and Tim Barnhart ’02, bringing the total amount raised to $199,745.73!
Tomorrow begins today!
Writing and reporting by Margaret Spillett, with Edwin Acevedo M’09 and Tyler Edic ’13, and support from Brittany Sperino Horsford ’14, Luke Parsnow ’15, Matthew Bishop ’14 and Jennifer Broderick.