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SUNY New Paltz exceeds campaign goal – Raises more than $24.7 million in philanthropic support

SUNY New Paltz is pleased to announce the successful completion of Soaring Higher – The Campaign for SUNY New Paltz, the first-ever comprehensive campaign in the College’s history.

Thanks to the generosity of many members of the global New Paltz community, the SUNY New Paltz Foundation was able to exceed the original goal of $23 million – raising a total of $24.7 million in campaign support, with more than $10 million in scholarship support, $11.1 million in program support, and $3.5 million in unrestricted support for the Fund for New Paltz.

The Campaign was led by a group of 18 distinguished alumni and business leaders who comprised the Campaign Cabinet, with Michael T. Keegan (Executive Vice President and Head of Community Markets, M&T Bank), serving as its chair, and James H. Ottaway Jr.’18 HON (Retired Director and Senior Vice President of Dow Jones and Chairman of Ottaway Newspapers) serving as honorary chair.

“We are overjoyed with the total funds raised, because of what it means for the entire SUNY New Paltz community,” said Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations Erica Marks. “And I’m grateful for the leadership and guidance of our enormously supportive Campaign Cabinet. I’m even more excited by the number of people and organizations who have supported this historic effort—more than 8,300 alumni, faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and friends of the College and another 700-plus corporations and foundations. They have all exhibited their commitment through their overwhelming generosity. It’s truly remarkable.”

Campaign funds will create new opportunities for current and future generations of New Paltz students. They enable the College to welcome more students to campus through expanded scholarships—with a record-setting $1 million awarded to students last year alone—to establish new programs, like the Student Psychological Resilience Project, and to grow unrestricted funds. Additionally, philanthropy continues to add to critical, emergency resources for students such as the Crossing the Finish Line Fund, which helps students in crisis complete their education, and the Student Crisis Fund, which provides one-time grants for a range of emergency needs.

“To complete a campaign of this scale is a tribute to committed donors in our campus community and around the world,” said President Donald P. Christian. “The remarkable devotion and generosity of our alumni and friends reflect the quality of the SUNY New Paltz experience and our tradition of educating compassionate global citizens that the world needs now more than ever.”


Soaring Higher – The Campaign for SUNY New Paltz sought philanthropic support for three strategic priorities across campus.

Building Capacity: Program Support

  • Expand new and existing programs that provide compelling and distinctive opportunities for our students. Goal: $8 million. Raised: $11.1 million

Providing Opportunity: Scholarships & Experiential Learning

  • Provide students with access to higher education and opportunities to expand their learning in real-world situations, including emergency funds to help students stay in school after family or financial circumstances change. Goal: $11.5 million. Raised: $10 million

Expanding Possibilities: The Fund for New Paltz

  • Create learning opportunities that awaken the potential in every student and enrich the experiences of our students and our community. Goal $3.5 million. Raised: $3.5 million

The Campaign officially launched on Oct. 3, 2019, and invited the global community to support the spirit of excellence at New Paltz and to ensure that the College remains affordable and accessible to all.

Its successful completion showcases the College’s strengths, even amidst a global pandemic: the resilience of students adapting to new ways of living and learning; the selflessness of faculty and staff leading by example both academically and philanthropically; and the generosity of both alumni and friends of the College who have transformed its programs through private support.

“This achievement proves that SUNY New Paltz will continue to be a community of strong, innovative, diverse and engaged individuals seeking academic and life-long success,” said Campaign Chair and Executive Vice President at M&T Bank Michael T. Keegan. “We are so grateful to our alumni and friends who are helping us position the College for the future. This campaign allows SUNY New Paltz to grow stronger through these challenging and changing times both in higher education and in the world.”

The SUNY New Paltz community celebrated the successful conclusion of Soaring Higher—The Campaign for SUNY New Paltz at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 23, 2021, with remarks held in the Lecture Center on campus.  

The program included comments from SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian, Vice President for Alumni Relations & Development Erica Marks, Campaign Chair Mike Keegan, and current New Paltz student Mackenzy McMorris ’22.  

Learn more about Soaring Higher – The Campaign for SUNY New Paltz online.

SUNY New Paltz Foundation

Founded in 1976, the Foundation works to enrich the quality of academic life at New Paltz by raising private contributions. Gifts to the SUNY New Paltz Foundation enhance the teaching, learning, and discovery that takes place on campus, and allow New Paltz to enrich the cultural, economic and social fabric of the Mid-Hudson region. For more information on the Foundation Board directors visit https://www.newpaltz.edu/give/board.html.