SUNY Stony Brook Surpasses $300 Million Fundraiser Goal
February 5, 2009, Newsday — Stony Brook University's seven-year, $300-million capital campaign — set to end June 30 — has already surpassed its goal, school officials announced today.
The campaign was pushed over the top by a recent $17 million gift from financier and former math department chairman Jim Simons and his wife, Marilyn, who run the Simons Foundation.
The couple has donated a total of $100 million to Stony Brook in recent years, including a $60 million donation last February, the largest in the history of the state university system.
"We were hovering around $295-$296 million for awhile before we got this gift," said Stony Brook president Shirley Strum Kenny.
The campaign, which is at the $312.8 million mark now, will continue through June 30. It is the largest ever in SUNY history.
Kenny noted that given the spiraling economy, the fundraising effort will help plug gaps left by cuts in state funding.
"At the moment, we have been drastically cut by the state and what we do is so important," Kenny said. I think that our success in this campaign really speaks to people's understanding the importance of public higher education and the importance of private support for our mission."
In particular, she pointed out that $26.8 million of the funds are designated for student aid.
"One of the things we've really wanted to do is build an endowment for scholarships," Kenny said.
The campaign drew 237,000 gifts from more than 54,000 donors. About 39 percent of individual donors were alumni - about one in five of all alumni, school officials said.
Where it will go
Here's a breakdown of how gifts were designated in Stony Brook's capital fundraising campaign (in millions):
Students support and scholarships: $26.8
Capital projects: $90.4
Other purposes: $40.3