Bulletin News

Cortaca Challenge raises $285,531 for Cortland


You win some and you lose some. But sometimes, you can do both at the same time. 

During the week-long Cortaca Challenge, a total of 1,056 donors made gifts to SUNY Cortland. Nearly 80% of those donors were proud Cortland alumni. 

Ithaca College, meanwhile, received gifts from 1,201 supporters, winning the off-field, fundraising competition. 

In terms of raising funds to support the university, however, Cortland was the clear winner, collecting donations that totaled an astonishing $285,531.  

That’s $30,357 more than Ithaca’s total of $255,174. 

Of the funds raised by generous Cortland alumni, more than $200,000 will go to the Cortland Fund, where they can be used to address the university’s most pressing needs. The remainder will support other key campus priorities.  

“I am incredibly grateful for the many donors who gave so generously to support the Cortaca Challenge,” said President Erik J. Bitterbaum. “Your gifts will benefit scholarships, faculty and staff development and key experiential learning programs.  

“The Red Dragon spirit of alumni, faculty and staff, parents and friends participating in the Cortaca Challenge demonstrates how much the continued success of this special university means to so many.” 

Cortland’s effort was assisted by matching gifts from eight alumni, including William “Bill” Haines ’63, who pledged to match gifts up to $100,000.  

 The other challenge gift donors included: Sheri Glaser Baron '77, Ernest Logan ’73, George Weissman ’76, Esq., Chris Grady ’79 and Terry Bedell Grady ’80, Barry Thornton ’93 and an anonymous 1981 graduate.

You can learn more about these incredible donors in RedDragonNetwork. 

“Red Dragon spirit and sportsmanship were on full display on and off the field, with our football team representing us admirably and our alumni rising to the challenge to support them and their alma mater with their cheers and donations,” said Peter Perkins, vice president for Institutional Advancement.   

“Although we fell short in the Cortaca Challenge the real winners are our students, who will reap the benefits from the outstanding generosity of the more than 1,000 donors who participated. We can’t thank you enough.”