The parameters of SUNY Cortland’s first-ever 24-hour giving challenge are simple.
If 227 people make a gift of any amount to The Cortland Fund on Thursday, Feb. 27, Cortland College Foundation Board of Directors chair Louise M. Conley will offer $10,000 for student scholarships, research opportunities and other extracurricular pursuits.
It makes no difference if the person making the gift is a graduate or employee or simply a fan of the College. Every gift counts the same. The only requirement is that the monetary donation is made between midnight and 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 27.
Fittingly, the daylong fundraising initiative is being called the 2/27 Challenge to signify both the date and the donor goal.
“Colleges across the country have seen tremendous success building both pride and key funds through similar 24-hour giving challenges,” said Jennifer Janes, the director of The Cortland Fund. “Cortland supporters have proven over and over that they’re tremendously loyal people who are proud to be Red Dragons.
“They’ve also proven that they’re up for any challenge. This is all about strength in numbers … a straightforward, easy way to collectively raise funds for SUNY Cortland students and their educations.”
Conley, the generous philanthropist behind the 2/27 Challenge, hopes to create a spike in the number of alumni, employees and friends of SUNY Cortland who give annually to The Cortland Fund. She is the granddaughter of Francis J. Cheney, the second principal of the Cortland Normal School, and the daughter of graduates Rollin McCarthy ’16 and Clara Cheney ’17.
A licensed psychologist from Princeton, N.J., Conley has offered a transformational amount of financial support to the College, including a million-dollar gift to endow the Louise M. Conley Chair in Educational Leadership as well as funding to support the Francis J. Cheney Educational Issues Conference that takes place each summer on the SUNY Cortland campus.
People who choose to make a gift as part of the challenge can do it online or they can call 607-753-5572. Additionally, tables will be set up in Corey Union and Brockway Hall for College employees and students to make a gift in person.