Geneseo Launches National Capital Campaign: "Shaping Lives of Purpose"

GENESEO, N.Y. - The State University of New York at Geneseo has launched the largest capital campaign in its history with a goal of raising between $22-25 million from alumni, faculty and staff, parents and friends to bolster the college's endowment and strengthen its program offerings to students.

The inaugural event for the ambitious national campaign took place Sept. 15 in New York City, where alumni and friends of the college gathered for special presentations by Geneseo alumni and current students.

The master of ceremonies for the New York City launch was 1983 Geneseo graduate Jeff Clarke, executive chairman of the Travelport board of directors and chairman of the board of Orbitz Worldwide. The attendees enjoyed reflections from Diane Willkens, Class of 1975; John Gleason, Class of 1987; Ana Pietrantoni, Class of 2011; and Geneseo senior Greg Roloff.

"This is a pivotal initiative for Geneseo and critically important for the future of this great college," said Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl. "Private support of the college's endowment through major gifts and annual giving is becoming increasingly important to preserve educational quality for our students. We are enthusiastically asking Geneseo alumni and other supporters to help ensure the college's excellence for future generations of students."

President Dahl praised the leaders of the Geneseo Foundation and members of the alumni regional committees for motivating donors during the private phase of the campaign. The college is dedicated to reaching an endowment funding level that will generate greater annual earnings for college purposes.

The New York City event included the announcement of a $1 million gift commitment from 1973 alumnus Edward Pettinella, president and CEO of Home Properties, Inc., based in Rochester, N.Y. Pettinella's gift brings the campaign gift total so far to $16.5 million.

"Ed Pettinella has generously supported Geneseo in many ways over the years and his gift tremendously boosts the campaign," said Dahl. "I am deeply grateful for his genuine commitment to his alma mater. Pacesetter gifts of this magnitude will truly energize this ambitious fund-raising effort."

The organization responsible for the college's fundraising, The Geneseo Foundation, is sponsoring a series of special events for alumni, faculty, parents and friends around the country throughout the year to roll out the campaign, titled "Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo."

Chairing the campaign is foundation board member Frank Vafier, a 1974 Geneseo graduate and co-founder of Prolifics, a technology consulting firm. Vafier stressed that alumni support of the campaign is critical to success.

"I have no doubt our alumni and friends will rally around this inspiring campaign," said Vafier. "Alumni in particular know that Geneseo is a special place. We all have realized lasting rewards from our time as students there, wherever life has taken us. This campaign gives us the opportunity to respond accordingly."

Ron Herzman, distinguished teaching professor of English, is co-chairing the faculty and staff component of the campaign with Andrea Klein, director of campus scheduling and events.

"Funds raised from this campaign directly support Geneseo's academic enterprise by making scholarships available to some very talented students who otherwise would not be able to attend college," said Herzman. "Campaign funds also support Geneseo faculty research and related academic endeavors, which directly benefit undergraduate teaching."

Geneseo's campaign is aimed at five major goals:

1) Support for the newly created Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Leadership through a series of endowed funds and current purpose funds. The center will support student research projects; civic engagement experiences; lectureships that attract leaders and entrepreneurs from science, business and education; and a student ambassadors program in which students will pursue research and community service projects of their own design.
2) Support for a strong investment in the college's scholarship program
3) Support for the college's faculty and academic programs through investment in high-impact learning experiences, research, interdisciplinary coursework and strong library resources
4) Support for the expansion of opportunities in the college's global education program
5) Support for the college's athletic program as an integral part of a comprehensive student experience

The foundation has created 18 regional alumni committees across the country, who are underwriting campaign launch events for fellow alumni in their areas. The Rochester, N.Y., launch event is scheduled Oct. 15, at which Pettinella will serve as master of ceremonies. Other launch events are set throughout the year in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Washington, D.C.; Buffalo; Chicago ; Denver; Tampa, Fla.; Charlotte ; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Boston; Westchester, Conn.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Albany, N.Y.; and Long Island, N.Y.

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