Highlights from Institutional Advancement

Advancement infographicThank you for your support!


The Sage College’s 2018-19 donor report gratefully acknowledges the 2,538 alumni, parents and friends who contributed through the Annual Fund to the college’s mission between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019. The highlights that follow are but a few examples of the ways donors help Sage prepare students to succeed and lead. Thank you for your continued involvement in sustaining the Sage experience.

A few of the year’s highlights include:

• Grand total of $1,458,922.09 raised from 2,538 donors.
• $99,250 raised for our Corporate Connections Scholarship Program.
• $66,075 raised as part of Giving Tuesday & our 12 Days of Giving in December.
• $120,348 raised on Sage Gives, our 3rd annual 24-hour giving challenge with 346 donors participating.
• $57,096 Raised for our 2nd Century Scholarship Program which awarded 27 scholarships to students.
• $35,102.94 was raised as part of Sage’s matching gift program.
• The Golden Horseshoes were the winners of our 6th annual Mascot Madness challenge!
• $86,496.88 was raised during Mascot Madness with 324 gifts made.

Each year, thousands of alumni and friends give to the annual fund. Your support of The Sage Fund for Excellence allows over 95% of Sage students to receive scholarships and financial aid. It provides faculty and staff with the resources and technology needed to go above and beyond in providing a top notch education to our students. Your support allows Sage students to be a name in a classroom rather than a number, and receive the 1:1 personal attention that will allow them to succeed.

With your help and generosity, this marks the tenth consecutive year The Sage Fund for Excellence has raised more than $1 million.

You Make a Difference!

We are grateful for every annual fund donor who gave to The Sage Fund for Excellence. Our success would not have been possible without you. On behalf of our students, thank you for your generous participation in The Sage Fund for Excellence.


In addition to Annual Fund gifts, Sage relies on Leadership Gifts (generally gifts of $25,000 or more) to fulfill its important mission, and attract talented students and faculty. Giving at the leadership level opens doors of opportunity for both current and future students. Whether for academics, research, campus improvements, or the arts or athletics, Leadership Gifts ensure students are on a path to success.

In the 2018 – 19 fiscal year, generous alumni and friends of the College contributed $3,991,293 in restricted and endowed Leadership Gifts, allowing Sage to move forward on many fronts. Of that figure, $455,000 was committed via estate and planned gifts. Planned gifts help ensure Sage’s tradition of excellence now and in the future.


Veterans Fund
A significant leadership gift from Rich and Donna Robinson Esteves RSC ’70 provided funding for a new, full-time Veteran Recruiter to support Sage’s Veteran enrollments. The funding will also support a Student Veterans Association, a Recruitment Advisory Council, and related projects.

Academic Advisors Fund
The Renaissance Corporation of Albany provided significant funding in support of Sage’s Office of Academic Advising which counsels students in their academic pursuits and helps them successfully navigate the challenges they may face during throughout their education.

Campus Improvements
The Russell Sage College Student Government chose to support Sage’s Green Initiatives by providing funding to install twelve new water bottle refill stations throughout the Troy campus.
The Sage College of Albany Student Government generously funded the installation of a new bus shelter on the Albany campus.


CDR. Jennifer R. Flather, U.S.N. (Ret) RSC 1986 Endowed Fund
Established by CDR. Jennifer R. Flather, U.S.N. (Ret) RSC ’86 to provide for the preservation and continued improvement, beautification, furnishing, upkeep and upgrading of Sage’s buildings and facilities.

Mary Karpiak Foster Endowed Fund
Established by Mary Karpiak Foster RSC ’42 through her will. The fellowships will be awarded to entering graduate students majoring in a community or public health related field.

Barbara Gural-Steinmetz RSC 1972 Endowed Scholarship Fund
Established by Barbara Gural-Steinmetz RSC ’72 to provide four scholarships annually to full time students with first priority given to those majoring in the arts, education or humanities.

Paul and Elizabeth Durkin Hommert, RSC ’72 Scholarship Fund
Established by Paul and Elizabeth Durkin Hommert, RSC ’72 to assist a female student in good standing who is in her final year of study in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program.

Dr. Paulette S. Politsch ’67 Endowed Scholarship Fund
Established by Paulette S. Politsch, SGS ’67 for students in good standing enrolled at Sage College of Albany with first preference given to students from Gloversville, NY; second to students from Fulton County, NY; third to students who reside in small communities in NYS; and fourth to students who reside in small communities in the U.S.

Jacqueline Robertson Prusak ’59 Scholarship Fund in Childhood Education
Established by Deanne Prusak in memory of her mother. This fund will provide a scholarship to one Russell Sage College or Sage Graduate Schools student who shows promise, whose academic work is worthy of recognition with first preference to a student enrolled in a childhood education major leading to working with students in the Kindergarten through sixth grade.

Susan Warren Beatty Faculty Award for Excellence in Research Fund
Susan Warren Beatty

BRAE Scholarship Fund
Joseph and Jennifer Cross Pilaro, RSC ’56

The Buchman Foundation Fund in memory of Louis and Natalie Buchman, RSC ’64
The Buchman Foundation, Inc.

CDPHP Endowed Fund for the Health Sciences

Louise Devine Cioppa Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund
Jeanne Cioppa-Mosca, RSC ’82

Class of 1960 Golden Opportunities Fund
Kathryn Merrick Diamond, RSC ’60

Marie Corrado RSC 1950 Endowed Fund
Marie Corrado, RSC ’50

Christine Collard Devereaux RSC ’56 Graduate Fellowship Fund
Christine Collard Devereaux RSC ’56*

Roxanne Hosier Drnevich ’62 Endowed Scholarship Fund for the Sciences
Vincent and Roxanne Hosier Drnevich RSC ’62

General Unrestricted Endowment Fund
Chester and Karen Opalka

Julia Greenstein, RSC ’78 and Paul Bleicher Scholarship Fund
Julia Greenstein, RSC ’78 and Paul Bleicher

Miller-Fowler Scholarship Fund
Richard and Marilyn Miller Fowler, RSC ’69

Marion Rockwell C. Mason Scholarship Fund
Marion Rockwell C. Mason FD UA

David and Carol Sweet Morse RSC 1966 Unrestricted Endowed Fund
David* and Carol Sweet Morse RSC ’66

A. Lindsey and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation Scholarship Fund
A. Lindsey and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation

Opalka Family Scholarship Fund
Chester and Karen Opalka

Sheila Sutland Pakula RSC ’56 Scholarship Fund
Lawrence Pakula

Wanda Ratsek RSC ’58 Scholarship Fund
H. Fred Plagens

Marcia Luloff Sabesin RSC 1956 Endowed Scholarship Fund
Marcia Luloff Sabesin, RSC ’56

Sylvia A. Saarnijoki, RSC ’47 Endowed Scholarship Fund
Linda Saarnijoki

Patricia Timpano Sparrell, RSC ’78 Service Learning Program Endowed Fund
Duncan and Patricia Timpano Sparrell, RSC ’78

Evelyn Donaldson Steinkirchner Scholarship Fund
Kay Steinkirchner Rock, RSC ’67

Dawn M. Sweeney, MD, RSC ’85 Scholarship Fund
Dawn M. Sweeney, MD, RSC ’85

Rosalind M. Wang Fund for Nursing
The Estate of Rosalind Wang

Julia O. Wells Memorial Educational Foundation Scholarship
Julia O. Wells Memorial Educational Foundation

Richard T. and Ada Pangburn Youngs Scholarship Fund
Janet Meleney, RSC ’68


We are grateful to the following alumnae and friends who, through their foresight during their lifetimes, created charitable bequests, trusts and other charitable planned gifts.

Legacy gifts received this year: $1,308,970

Unrestricted Gifts Received
H. Cornelia Mackay Allen, RSC ’27*
Gloria Robinson Bleck, RSC ’45*
Doris Charter, RSC ‘52*
Marjorie Bill Hansell, RSC ’41*
Alice H. Kelsey, RSC ’56*
Marilyn Trappiel Lukasik, RSC ‘52*
Patricia Newmark McCue, RSC ‘56*
Olive Stoker Tice, RSC ’40*

Gifts Received for Special Projects
Helen Hamilton Clark, RSC ’41*
Mary Gilbert Robinson, RSC ’36*
Florence Haspel Zeve, RSC ’52*

Received for Endowed Funds
Christine Collard Devereaux, RSC ’56*
Mary Karpiak Foster, RSC ’42*
Sheila Sutland Pakula, RSC ’56*

Received for Other Endowed Funds
Rosalind Wang, Emeritus Professor of Nursing*

Gloria Robinson Bleck ’45 created her legacy for her 50th Reunion by establishing a charitable gift annuity. This gift offered a supplemental retirement income during Gloria’s and her husband Max’s lifetimes and a future gift to Russell Sage College. Through her generosity and foresight, upon the passing of both Gloria and Max, Russell Sage received the remainder of their charitable gift annuity in 2019 to benefit Sage students.


The Office of Corporate, Government and Foundation Relations (OCGFR) builds relationships with foundations, businesses, government agencies and elected officials, and secures grants that fund scholarships, fellowships, events, research, programs and campus renovations projects.

The Sage Colleges continues to build relationships with corporate partners. Corporate sponsorships provide funding for student scholarships, scholar-athletes via the Gator Golf Classic, and educational and community events such as Sage’s annual Nutrition Lecture.

The Corporate Connections Scholarship Program, which provides debt relief to students entering their Junior or Senior year of study, presented 86 scholarships to outstanding students from the Capital Region. Since the program’s creation, over $1.4 million in scholarships have been awarded to more than one thousand exceptional Sage students. Over the past decade, Corporate Connections has tripled in size, which is a testament to the program’s overall success and need in the Capital Region. Corporate Connections partners included longtime supporters, Sodexo Education, M&T Bank, Stewart’s Shops, Crisafulli Bros., Sano-Rubin Construction, Maggs & Associates and Toshiba Business Solutions.

The OCGFR also obtained corporate sponsors for the Theatre Institute at Sage and the Opalka Gallery for their ongoing seasons.

Renaissance Corporation of Albany provided funding to establish two new Academic Advisor positions on the Albany campus.

The OCGFR continued to build and maintain relationships with elected officials throughout the year, and actively participated in advocacy efforts through membership in the Council for Independent Colleges.

Throughout 2018-19, the OCGFR worked with a number of foundations to bring additional support to Sage students, programs and capital projects. A grant from the Lucille A. Herold Charitable Trust assisted in providing technology to the new commuter lounge on the Troy campus.