With Passion and Purpose: The Campaign for SUNY Oswego captured the heart and soul of our college community, exceeding all expectations by raising $43.48 million—well past our $40 million goal, which was the largest campaign among all SUNY comprehensive colleges. The remarkable success and impact of With Passion and Purpose will be featured in our next issue of the magazine, but I want to thank each of our 16,000-plus alumni and friends who supported the college in our historic five-year fundraising endeavor.
The impact of the campaign will be everlasting on the life of the college, much like the influence Lake Ontario has had on all who have visited its shores—from Edward Austin Sheldon and his contemporaries in the 19th century to our students, faculty, staff and alumni 155 years later. In each of our own ways, all of us who spend time on the shores of Lake Ontario develop a special relationship with the lake. It serves as the stunning backdrop to our campus experience and is integral to our sense of the college as a place.
As I marvel at the splendor that is Lake Ontario, I am in awe of how this precious resource has created a common bond for campus members and alumni throughout the history of the college. However, I also contemplate that preserving our most cherished resource, fresh water, is one of the grand challenges of our time.
Lake Ontario is a priceless resource—for sentimental reasons, of course, but more so for being a primary source of fresh water for millions of people. In fact, the Great Lakes represent 21 percent of the world’s fresh water. In this issue, you will read about some of the students and faculty members who are conducting research to improve the health of Lake Ontario (story on page 22). As biology professor Dr. C. Eric Hellquist points out in the story, Lake Ontario is one of the world’s natural wonders, and it is in our backyard.
Approximately 34 million people live in the Great Lakes basin, taking a toll on the lake’s pristine ecology. The college community is working to repair and preserve this precious resource so that it, like the college itself, will continue to inspire and thrive for generations to come.
With Oswego pride and gratitude for your support,
Deborah F. Stanley