Onondaga Announces $6 Million Capital Campaign

The Campaign for Onondaga Community College will put vitally needed resources behind priority projects that support the College’s steadily growing student population and make a college education possible for more people in the Central New York community. With the launch of the public phase, the campaign is expected to continue through December 2010.

“Almost five decades ago, the leaders and citizens of our community envisioned a college that would be defined by access, a college that would serve not only a select few, but a college that is for all of the people who have the desire and the will to transform their lives through higher education,” said Onondaga Community College President Debbie L. Sydow, Ph.D. The College’s significant progress over the past decade has brought us to where we are now—welcoming this fall our largest incoming freshman class in history, and announcing today the launch of a transformational Capital Campaign that will allow us to even more fully realize the vision that this College was founded upon.” Full remarks 

Reach Beyond is only the second capital campaign in Onondaga Community College’s nearly 50-year history and it marks the College’s most ambitious fundraising effort to date. The largest cash gift thus far was a $525,000 gift received earlier this year during the leadership, or “quiet” phase from the Syracuse Research Corporation.

“The student population at Onondaga Community College comes predominantly from Onondaga County and the majority of these students – nearly 90 percent - remain in the community after they graduate,” said campaign co-chairman Allen J. Naples, President, Syracuse Region, M&T Bank. “The efforts of the capital campaign give the administration the ability to grant more scholarships on an annual basis to more individuals.  We’ve seen through the foundation, numerous situations of students who have said to us that if it wasn’t for the scholarships, they would not have been able to continue with their education and would have had to drop out. That’s not the intent of this institution.”

“Over the last few years we’ve had many job openings for engineers, scientists and support personnel – all of whom could be educated right here in Central New York,” said campaign co-chairman Robert U. Roberts, president and chief executive officer of Syracuse Research Corporation. “That’s really what we need is people who have roots here and can stay in the community and help grow the economy. It’s a tremendous opportunity for all of us. It’s a win-win situation.”

The priorities of the Reach Beyond campaign stem from the vision and strategic goals of the College and focus on academic achievement, access, innovation and creativity. Specifically, the Campaign supports four major initiatives that will improve the quality of life and learning for students and allow the College to more effectively respond to the educational needs of the community.

The Presidential Scholars Program:  $4 million

  • Reduce economic barriers and increase access to higher education by providing full tuition and fees to any student in Onondaga County who graduates in the top 20 percent of their graduating class. 
  • When fully funded, the Presidential Scholars Program will support as many as 200 students per year, forever. 
  • Will return nearly $1 million every year to the local economy. 
  • Offers the promise of an Onondaga Community College education to more deserving students than ever.

The Children’s Learning Center: $1 million

  • Expands opportunity for local parents to pursue higher education by providing quality, affordable and accessible care for their children. 
  • Dramatically improves learning and the quality of the student teaching experience for students in the College’s Early Childhood Education programs.

The Onondaga Arena & Sports Complex: $500,000

  • A 59,000 square foot arena with flexible seating for large audiences 
  • Improved health and wellness facilities that benefit the entire student population including student-athletes as well as the community

The Excellence and Innovation Fund: $500,000

  • Expanded training and development for our highly credentialed faculty and staff to continue our commitment to providing high quality education.