Thank you for Going 'All In'

Wrap up graphics: Over $30 million, $1 Million Cortland fund gifts and 13,426 amazing donors

In 2018, SUNY Cortland set out to raise $25 million over five years to help support students and key university priorities. Our community – alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students – rose to the challenge and went all in.  

And then some.  

By the time The Campaign for Cortland - All In: Building on Success officially ended on Nov. 12, the Cortland College Foundation had raised $30.5 million from 13,426 generous donors.  

That is extraordinary. SUNY Cortland’s supporters surpassed the fundraising target by 20%, despite a global pandemic and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. It speaks to the deep connections our alumni have built with the university, and our supporters’ belief in the life-changing educational experience SUNY Cortland offers.  

Every dollar of those funds will be used to support five critical goals: strengthening student access and success; enriching Cortland’s unique educational experience; supporting academic programs and faculty; nurturing SUNY’s healthiest, most athletic campus; and building a lifetime network. 

Because of the campaign, thousands of students will receive scholarships that help lessen the financial burden on their families and reduce student debt. For many of our students, this assistance is what makes higher education possible. That’s why, at the height of the pandemic, when millions were struggling financially, we created a student emergency fund to help students pay for unanticipated expenses. Once again, our supporters rose to the occasion, donating more than $417,000 to students who might otherwise have had to interrupt their education.  

Funds raised during the campaign are already expanding the hands-on learning experiences that broaden our students’ perspectives and prepare them for professional careers. The campaign supports genuine undergraduate research in fields ranging from archaeology to biomedical science and student study abroad adventures spanning six continents. It’s a life-transforming experience that many of our students could not otherwise afford. And our campaign is strengthening our truly unique outdoor education programs and maintaining and improving our historic Adirondack campus at Raquette Lake.  

Strong academic instruction lies at the heart of SUNY Cortland’s mission. Our campaign raised funds to assist our faculty and help them become leaders in their chosen fields. Gifts help faculty attend conferences, take research trips, publish papers and pursue innovation that raises the national profile of the university and strengthens our faculty’s teaching.  

SUNY Cortland has always been an athletic powerhouse, with 25 national team champions and NCAA titles in nine different sports. A few years ago, the Partnership for a Healthier America identified Cortland as one of the healthiest campuses in the nation. Money raised by the campaign helps the institution maintain and strengthen those points of pride. Donors help fund facility improvements and athletic program endowments. They contribute to student health and counseling initiatives and enhance student opportunities in our state-of-the-art Student Life Center.  

The relationship between SUNY Cortland and its more than 80,000 living alumni is something truly special. The campaign provides funding to help us strengthen those ties, creating ways for successful alumni to share their expertise and advice with students. The effort will improve the infrastructure of our alumni relations efforts and events. And of course, it supports the Lynne Parks ’68 SUNY Cortland Alumni House, the elegant mansion at the center of alumni gatherings and campus events.  

The campaign’s five priorities and the money raised for each are: 

  • Strengthening student access and success $13,703,322
  • Enriching our unique educational experience $5,658,072 
  • Supporting academic programs and faculty $1,996,266 
  • Nurturing SUNY’s healthiest, most athletic campus $3,570,960 
  • Building a lifetime network $1,099,862 

The campaign also demonstrated that every gift matters, regardless of size. More than 5,000 supporters made gifts of less than $1,000, helping to propel the Cortland Fund to record-breaking heights. In each of the last three years, SUNY Cortland’s annual fund raised more than $1 million in unrestricted gifts. Between that and unrestricted endowment gifts, nearly $4.5 million in unrestricted funds were raised over the course of the campaign.

Universities and colleges across the United States are struggling, but SUNY Cortland stands on a solid foundation, fortified by the generosity of its supporters during the five years of this campaign. We are incredibly grateful for an engaged Red Dragon nation’s willingness to go “All In.” 

Read more in the online edition of The Campaign for Cortland Impact Booklet.