SCHENECTADY – The Schenectady County Community College Foundation, Inc.’s Royal Gala, presented by Marshall & Sterling Insurance on Nov. 12, marked the culmination of the Foundation’s Capital Campaign, The Promise of Our Common Future.
Through generous support from donors, the Capital Campaign exceeded its goal of $2.5 million, raising $3.5 million, which will help transform the library into a modern Learning Commons (scheduled for completion on August 2020). The funding will also impact students for generations to come through endowed scholarships, allowing the Foundation to award an extra $125,000 per year in scholarships, in perpetuity.
“We are truly humbled by the level of support that our generous donors committed to The Promise of Our Common Future, helping to exceed our campaign goal,” said Dr. Steady Moono, President of SUNY Schenectady. “Through their meaningful and steadfast support, they stand with us as we work toward our vision of serving as the regional leader in supporting and expanding innovative and collaborative educational programs that transform our students and community.”
Contributors to the campaign, which focused on “access” and “success”, included faculty, staff, alumni, Trustees, the Foundation’s Board of Directors, friends of the College, corporate supporters, and members of the Retirees Association, as well as private grants.
Dick Kotlow, Immediate Past Chair of the Foundation Board of Directors, and Jeanne Maloy, Past Chair of the Foundation Board of Directors, served as Co-Chairs of the Campaign.
“It was truly an honor to serve as Co-Chair of The Promise of Our Common Future and witness the generosity of so many individuals and companies who believe in the mission of the College, and the significant ways in which our students grow and are empowered to change their lives each and every day,” Kotlow said.
“We are so proud of the legacy of the campaign through the new Learning Commons which will expand academic services and resources for students, and enhanced scholarships which will make it possible for many more students to pursue their dreams,” Maloy said.
During the gala, the Foundation recognized top donors to the campaign:
- Joshua S. Schwartz
- The Honorable Karen Brown Johnson (in memoriam)
- Esther Swanker (in memoriam)
- David A. Harris
- Margaret A. Evans ’81
- Galesi Group
- Stewart’s Shops
Dr. Joshua S. Schwartz shared his thoughts about supporting the College this way, “My passion and mission in life are to ensure every person who wants a college degree, can get one – and SUNY Schenectady works to make that possible,” he said. “With my current employer, TargetX, I’m fortunate to travel to college and university campuses across the world. I hear about the diverse student needs – and I always reflect on my classroom at SUNY Schenectady. My students come from many different backgrounds and ages – all eager to learn – many wanting to be role models for their children. I’m hoping my contribution to the campaign leaves a legacy behind that promotes innovation, encourages diversity in the classroom, and inspires students to challenge the status-quo and make a change as future leaders. Giving to this campaign is the one way I can make sure my passion and mission live on for many years to come.”
Kent Johnson, Karen Johnson’s eldest son, reflected on his mother’s gift. “Karen was a passionate supporter of SUNY Schenectady during her lifetime,” he said. “She believed in the power of education to transform lives. She believed that the Schenectady community would be made stronger if more of its residents could overcome financial obstacles in pursuit of their dreams through education. Creating a scholarship fund at the College supported her vision for Schenectady becoming more equitable and inclusive, ultimately becoming a better community for all its residents.”
Also during the Gala, the Foundation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the College by paying tribute to 50 distinguished alumni. Guests dined on delicious cuisine prepared by alumni Guest Chefs:
- Chef Joan R. Dembinski ’10, Yono’s
- Chef Kristin Hartman ’13, Mazzone Hospitality
- Chef Katie Haskins ’19, Hooked Seafood Co.
- Chef Anand “AJ” Jayapal ’98, Swifty’s
- Chef Giovanni Lontoc ’17, D&L Hospitality
- Chef Jaime Ortiz ’05, 677 Prime
About SUNY Schenectady
Founded in 1969, SUNY Schenectady County Community College (SUNY Schenectady) is one of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, the largest comprehensive university system in the United States. SUNY Schenectady is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Through transferable degree and certificate programs, affordable tuition, strong student support services and a personalized approach to learning, SUNY Schenectady provides students with a regionally-acclaimed education that empowers them to take the next step in their lives. SUNY Schenectady offers degree and certificate programs through the:
- School of Hotel, Culinary Arts, and Tourism
• School of Music
• Division of Business, Criminal Justice, and Law
• Division of Liberal Arts
• Division of Math, Science, Technology, and Health
SUNY Schenectady also offers an array of Workforce Development and Community Education services and non-credit courses. Learn more by visiting: www.sunysccc.edu.