Future Landscape Brighter for Students,
Thanks to Path Forward Campaign
In less than two years’ time—the majority of which coincided with a global pandemic, SUNY Oswego supporters doubled the number of need-based scholarships available to students.
Oswego students now have access to a total of 440 privately funded, need-based scholarships—up from 220 in November 2019, thanks to the support of more than 600 donors who gave to the Path Forward campaign. These new scholarships began making a direct impact as soon as they came in.
“We are thrilled with the number of people who stepped forward to support this goal, despite the unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley. “These loyal supporters rallied to our students’ aid when they needed it most. These additional funds go a long way in easing the burden for our tenacious and eager student scholars. We are so grateful for the generosity of our alumni and donors, and I couldn’t be prouder of what we are able to accomplish together.”
The additional scholarships also become a differentiator as students are looking to make a decision about where to enroll in college.
“Providing additional Oswego scholarships at the point of entry helps to empower our students’ academic and career goals by reducing or removing the financial barrier,” said Ebony Dixon, executive director of enrollment management. “Essentially, offering our students additional scholarships reduces their financial concerns and provides more time for students to study, gain knowledge and secure better grades.”
That’s just what happened for Azizbek Sarimsakov ’24, who moved to New York City from Uzbekistan in 2017 and received a Festa Path Forward Scholarship, created by Fred ’81 and Mary- Lynn Barbero Festa ’82.
“The scholarship has covered a significant portion of my tuition, and I am genuinely grateful for that,” Azizbek said. “If I had not been granted the scholarships, I probably would not have decided to attend SUNY Oswego. But, here I am, obtaining knowledge and building my bright future as a geologist and an educator.
“As an immigrant and the first person in my family to attend college in the United States, I feel truly blessed to have been one of the luckiest people!” he said. “Thank you for helping me get on the right track!”
When President Stanley announced the Path Forward during Homecoming Weekend 2019, she described the financial obstacles SUNY Oswego students encounter.
“Today, our students face an increasing financial gap, despite the fact that they are taking advantage of all state and federal support available to them,” she said. “Approximately 41 percent of Oswego students are receiving federal Pell grants, intended for students with the greatest financial need; that’s 1,000 more students than a decade ago.
“Many more are coming from lower income or middle-class households whose finances are stretched thin, even before paying for college,” she explained. “Over 29 percent of our students are the first in their family to attend college. For these low-income and first-generation students, any little change in their circumstances can end their dream of obtaining a college education and their life trajectory changes forever.”
Then a few months later, a big change occurred—a global pandemic. It would have been easy—understandable even—for students to drop out or put their college dream on hold. The Path Forward scholarships gave students a reason to persist and stay the course.
“I am so appreciative and thankful to the donors and the foundation for providing me with this scholarship to help me further my education during these difficult times,” said Kendalyn Grunenberg ’24 of West Islip, N.Y., who received the Triandiflou Family Scholarship. “I am so glad that I chose Oswego as my home away from home!”
Receiving a scholarship often provides more than monetary support to the student recipients and can go a long way toward boosting students’ confidence and motivation.
“I’m delighted that somebody is thinking about and rooting for me to be successful in the world,” said creative writing major Jeremiah Mack ’24 of Washington, D.C. “Earning a scholarship really helps ease my burdens and stress. Being a student at Oswego has opened doors and opportunities I never thought I would have access to.”
That’s exactly what the college had hoped would happen by providing students with additional support.
“Our goal as the main fundraising arm of the college is to support students and advance SUNY Oswego’s mission: empowering every person in the college community to pursue a meaningful life as a productive, responsible member of society,” said Oswego College Foundation Board of Directors Chair Rose Cardamone Crane ’81, who is also a scholarship donor.
“The college identified a high-priority need for more scholarships, and our donors stepped up to assist. We are grateful to each and every person who contributed to the Path Forward campaign.”
Gifts to the Path Forward came in many forms and at many levels. Some donors created endowed scholarships that will last in perpetuity. Others donated to name a scholarship for five years, or made a gift toward the General Scholarship Fund.
Some donors made a gift through their estate plans that will ensure students of tomorrow will have a brighter landscape and receive support to fund their educational dreams.
While great progress has been made over the past 18 months to increase scholarships for students, the need for more support remains. If you are able, please consider making a gift to support SUNY Oswego students.
Make a gift online at alumni.oswego.edu/givenow; call the office at 315-312-3003; or send a check made out to: Oswego College Foundation, 215 Sheldon Hall, Oswego, N.Y. 13126. Or learn how you can include Oswego in your estate plans to create a legacy at the college that will shape the Future Landscape of tomorrow’s dreamers and doers.
Successful completion of the Path Forward Campaign 100% of Goal!
In less than two years—SUNY Oswego supporters doubled the number of need-based scholarships available to students.
The Path Forward Campaign created the following funding opportunities:
• General Scholarship Fund accepts donations of any amount to support our students.
33 new awards | $131,381
• Current Use Scholarship—$5,000 over five years establishes a named scholarship that provides $1,000 a year.
119 new awards | $578,500
• Endowed Scholarship—$30,000 establishes a named endowed scholarship of $25,000 that will live in perpetuity, plus a $1,000 current-use award for a fund’s initial 5 years.
68 new endowed scholarships | $1,859,298