Boston-Area Alumni and Friends Raise $1 Million for Campaign

January 31, 2011

Boston-Area Alumni and Friends Join Forces, Raising $1 Million for The Campaign for Syracuse University

January 31, 2011

Thanks to the leadership of the Boston Regional Council, Syracuse University Trustee Mike Thonis’ inspirational challenge and the loyalty of Boston-area alumni and friends, The Campaign for Syracuse University’s first regional campaign closed out 2010 raising in excess of $1 million.

Syracuse University BostonKicked off on Sept. 1, the effort targeted SU alumni, parents and friends in the Boston region and yielded gifts supporting a multitude of SU programs, scholarships and research initiatives. As of Dec. 31, nearly 1,200 donors had demonstrated the importance of SU in their lives, many crediting both their personal and professional success to their SU experiences. Lawrence Merrill ’87, a donor to the Boston campaign, says, “I am very thankful for the wonderful education I received at SU, and for the common bond I share with others. My time on the Hill shaped who I am today and I am tremendously proud to be an SU alum.”

To encourage participation in the campaign, SU trustee and Boston-area alumnus Thonis ’72 pledged a generous $250,000 challenge gift. For all new cash gifts made by Boston-area alumni, parents and friends between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2010—including initial payments on new pledges—Thonis gave an equal gift to the University’s Boston campaign in support of his passion. The incentive exceeded all expectations, bringing in $400,955 in eligible gifts from 893 donors.

Following are the final Boston Regional Campaign statistics:

Gifts and pledges to The Campaign for Syracuse University

  • Total gifts and pledges as of Dec. 31, 2010: $821,668,105
  • Total gifts and pledges from Boston-area alumni, parents and friends as of Dec. 31, 2010: $17,423,124
  • Total gifts and pledges from Boston-area alumni, parents and friends, Sept. 1-Dec. 31, 2010: $1,027,535

Boston-area donors to The Campaign for Syracuse University

  • Total number of donors as of Dec. 31, 2010: 3,233
  • Total number of donors from Sept. 1-Dec. 31, 2010: 1,132

The Thonis Challenge

  • Total amount of eligible gifts: $400,955
  • Total number of donors giving eligible gifts: 893

Number of new annual fund donors, Sept. 1-Dec. 31, 2010

  • Total number of Boston-area annual fund donors who have never made a gift or have not made one in the past six years: 172

Non-alumni-parent gifts, pledges, and donors, Sept. 1-Dec. 31, 2010

  • Total gifts and pledges from Boston-area non-alumni parents: $66,607
  • Total number of Boston-area non-alumni-parent donors: 349

Young alumni (graduates of the last decade) gifts, pledges and donors, Sept. 1-Dec. 31, 2010

  • Total gifts and pledges from young alumni donors: $5,115
  • Total number of young alumni donors: 55

The Boston regional campaign will be followed by campaigns in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York City and two other key cities.

“Boston was a great success for us and demonstrated the loyalty of our alumni and friends. Thanks to all our donors for their commitment to SU and for believing in the power of Scholarship in Action,” says Brian Sischo, SU’s vice president for development.

Echoing Sischo’s words is SU alum and current graduate student Kristen Paglia of Wayland, Mass. “I chose Syracuse University for my undergraduate degree because I felt it had the most school spirit, the best academic and social opportunities and a great alumni base,” Paglia says. “Since graduating, I’ve been able to see the power of the alumni network. Syracuse alums are always willing to lend a hand, whether it’s helping with a job search or welcoming new graduates to the workforce.”

SU’s efforts in Boston to engage alumni, parents and friends will continue. “Through local events, our partnership with the Boston Orange and sustained communications,” says Sischo, “we will ensure that the ties between Syracuse and the Boston area grow ever stronger.”

Gifts to the Boston regional campaign will be counted in The Campaign for Syracuse University’s total and support five key areas of the University:

  • Student Access and Support: to increase support for scholarships, assistantships and fellowships.
  • Faculty Excellence: to endow deanships, chairs and professorships, and to provide funds for faculty recruitment and retention, start-up costs and professional development.
  • Cross-Connections: to advance interdisciplinary teaching, research and community engagement initiatives, particularly in the areas of technology and science, social policy, community and economic development, the humanities, communications and the arts.
  • Building Futures: to enhance teaching and research facilities and provide state-of-the-art technology on campus, as well as at SU’s regional centers in New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and study centers abroad.
  • Annual Support: to provide flexible, immediately available dollars that enable the chancellor, deans, and other division heads to funnel dollars wherever they are most urgently needed.

To learn more about the Boston effort, visit