In 2016, we are filled with pride, making history on many fronts. In June, we completed With Passion & Purpose: The Campaign for SUNY Oswego, raising more than $43 million and surpassing our most ambitious goal in college history by $3.48 million. This is the largest completed campaign among all SUNY comprehensive colleges, and the total is nearly double Oswego’s last campaign. The impact of this success–thanks to the more than 16,000 donors representing alumni, employees, students, parents and friends–is being felt across all corners of campus as you will discover in the campaign stories.
This fall, we welcomed the most culturally diverse class in the history of our college. Nearly 34 percent of first-year students self-identify as Hispanic, Asian, African-American, Native American, Pacific Islander or a combination of categories. That means today one in four undergraduate and graduate students at Oswego identify themselves as culturally diverse. Such a diverse and inclusive community translates to more expansive perspectives and experiences that enrich the conversations, programs and relationships on our campus. This fall, we hosted a series of “Oz Speaks” events to provide a forum for students to express their thoughts and feelings about a range of important societal issues and events occurring across our country. We have encouraged our campus members to live the values of the just, compassionate, supportive and active college community that we are.
If our history of embracing diversity and inclusion on this campus is any indication of future success, I know we will persevere. This fall, we celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the ALANA Leadership Conference, which began as a day-long event and now runs as a week-long initiative that invites our students and campus members to share aspects of their culture and heritage. Over the decades, our ALANA celebration has served as a model for other colleges and universities, which send representatives to participate in our events each year. The celebration included several sold-out or standing-room only events that attracted participants and attendees of all cultures. What an honor it was for me to join dozens of students, faculty and staff for this year’s Peace Walk. In a public show of solidarity, we began the walk at City Hall and processed along the streets of Oswego, ending on the campus quad.
As our semester winds down and our campus community prepares to enjoy the company of family and friends during the holiday season and winter break, I extend best wishes to you all for peace and hope. I have an abiding faith in the people of SUNY Oswego and am confident that we can, individually and together, build on our similarities as human beings in advancing the common good of humanity.
With peace and kindness,
Deborah F. Stanley