SUNY Potsdam exceeds '17-'18 fundraising goal, nets $6 million
Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 5:31 pm

POTSDAM -- SUNY Potsdam exceeded its fundraising goal once again in 2017-18, garnering nearly $6 million in gifts to support scholarships and programs at the college.

"Every day, I am amazed at the deep devotion and extraordinary generosity of our donors. Their support is a testament to the immense Potsdam pride that our alumni, emeriti and supporters feel, and it is truly humbling to see the opportunities that these gifts create for our students," SUNY Potsdam President Kristin G. Esterberg said in a prepared statement.

As of June 30, SUNY Potsdam had raised $5,847,000 in gifts in the 2017-18 fiscal year. Giving had been on target to meet the campus's annual goal, when SUNY Potsdam received a historic gift, which nearly doubled the amount of private gifts received in support of the college this year, school officials said in a news release.

SUNY Potsdam alumni Donald and Kathryn Kofoed Lougheed gave $2.87 million of their $5.25 million total gift commitment to support applied learning at SUNY Potsdam this year. In recognition, the school recently dedicated the Lougheed Learning Commons in their honor. The couple's gift will be used to support faculty and staff activities that improve their ability to facilitate student participation in high impact and applied learning activities, such as research, internships, study abroad, field experiences, creative projects, service learning and entrepreneurship.

In addition to the Lougheeds' gift, donors were particularly dedicated to scholarship support and unrestricted giving, which is used to meet the College's greatest needs, over the past year.

Following are just a few examples of the opportunities that gifts have made possible at SUNY Potsdam this year:

• New equipment: The Student Success Center received 15 laptops to use for short-term computer loans. The Wagner Institute for Sustainability and Ecological Research Greenhouse installed a sophisticated curtain/shade system that improved growing conditions by providing heat retention, shade and day-length control.

• Course development: Dr. Michael Popovic, coordinator of the international studies program, was able to develop a new faculty-led travel course, titled "Of Walls and Bridges: Immigration at the Northern and Southern U.S. Border." The class will give students an up-close understanding of American immigration policy as it is enacted in real time, comparing issues and enforcement at the borders with both Canada and Mexico. Popovic also designed the course itinerary to be more affordable for students who find it challenging to fund overseas travel classes.

• Student activities: Students from across campus took part in the year-long Women, Gender and Leadership Program, which offers leadership training and connects students with alumnae mentors in their field of study.

• Potsdam Bears Athletics: Both the men's and women's swimming and diving teams were able to travel to Key West, Fla., for winter training in January.

• Arts: During the LoKo Arts Festival, students studied and performed under the direction of Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, a renowned dance company from Washington, D.C.

• Scholarships: One of SUNY Potsdam's top priorities for donor philanthropy remains scholarship support for needy and deserving students. In 2017-18, donor giving provided nearly $1.7 million in scholarships. In addition to providing support for tuition, these dollars make it possible for students to participate in opportunities such as internships, study abroad, conference travel and research.