Highlights From Institutional Advancement

In the 2014-2015 fiscal year, 3,817 alumni and friends of the college gave generously to support The Sage Colleges’ mission of transforming lives. Once again you have helped us to exceed our goals. Your gifts are a confident and generous affirmation of your commitment to Sage. Thank you!

This has been an incredible year for The Sage Colleges. We have begun planning and preparing for our Centennial in 2016. The momentum is building … the enthusiasm and anticipation of this milestone is palpable. In spring 2015, we launched the most ambitious fundraising campaign we have ever undertaken. We  set a goal of $50 million to celebrate the legacy of this incredible institution and to ensure its academic excellence for future generations of Sage students. To date we have raised more than $43 million, with more than 83 percent of the gifts coming from Sage alumni and 100 percent participation by The Sage Colleges Board of Trustees. We are confident that you will help us to Be. Know. Do. MORE and meet or even exceed this goal.

You, our donors, are the best gift our institution could ever receive. You give generously of your time, your resources and your ideas. You are connected and involved on our campuses, in our Albany and Troy communities, throughout the United States and around the world. The impact of all that you do is evident each day in the lives of our students. This 2014-15 Report of Appreciation is our modest effort to honor and celebrate your extraordinary support. Thank you for all that you do for Sage.


The Office of Annual Giving is proud to share that for the sixth year in a row The Sage Fund for Excellence raised more than $1 million dollars: 3,656 generous donors gave $1,144, 593, showing their unwavering support and confidence in the mission of The Sage Colleges. We are so grateful for each one of you who gave to ensure that every Sage student is successful in their academic pursuits.

SAGE-GRAPH-v2b-12Slices_3On the threshold of our 100 year anniversary, so much is being invested in our campus, our students and our faculty. Alumni and friends have been anxious to demonstrate their pride and confidence in Sage and to do MORE to ensure that the momentum of our first 100 years continues to transform lives into our second century.

As our part of The Centennial Campaign for Sage, the Sage Fund for Excellence has committed to raise $3 million via our Light Up the Logo initiative. This annual fund challenge began July 1, 2014 and runs through June 30, 2016 and all gifts made to the annual fund during this time count toward the challenge. We are confident that we will get there because of donors like you.

As the Sage Fund for Excellence continues to provide opportunities for our students, innovative programs, wonderful living/learning spaces and to meet the day-to-day needs of two busy campuses, we continue to be encouraged by your partnership with us.  Thank you.


Leadership and Major Gifts from alumni and friends totaled more than $7.8 million in fiscal year 2014-2015 including $2.2 million in deferred gifts.  These gifts provide needed resources now and in the future for campus improvements, faculty development, endowments for academic programs and scholarships for students.

Jane Wardwell Roberts Floor in the Shea Learning Center
DSC_0064During Russell Sage College’s 2015 Reunion, the second floor in the campus library, Shea Learning Center, was dedicated in memory of Jane Wardwell Roberts RSC ’50, to honor her generous Centennial Campaign gift. Pictured: Members of the Class of 1950 at the dedication.

The Hannaford Nutrition and Physical Assessment Lab
Hannaford_Nutrition Lab dedication_0043-largerThe Sage Colleges’ Nutrition Science Department received a $50,000 grant from the Hannaford Charitable Foundation to help equip the Hannaford Nutrition and Physical Assessment Laboratory on the Russell Sage campus. Pictured: Trustee Chet Opalka, President Susan Scrimshaw, and Brian Fabre, Amy White and Larry Lynch of the Hannaford Charitable Foundation at the dedication. See more photos and read more about the high tech lab in “The ST(E)AM is Rising.”

M&T Bank Trading Simulation Room
SCA_M&T Classroom 8_15 (30)2M&T Bank made a $50,000 gift to help create the M&T Bank Stock Trading Simulation room on the Sage College of Albany campus. The 40-seat classroom features investment software, stock tickers and equipment to allow School of Management students to perform real-time analysis. The classroom is also available to the wider business community for continuing education, executive training and workshops. M&T Bank gave an additional $50,000 for Corporate Connections scholarships, bringing their total gift to $100,000.

Tribute Gardens
RSC TRibute Garden Plaque_00241Multiple generous gifts enhanced the Tribute Garden on the Russell Sage campus, next to Carriage House and between Spanish House and Frear House. The Tribute Garden on the Albany campus is between Rathbone Hall and Esteves Science Hall. Gifts to the gardens help maintain areas of natural beauty on campus and support the educational mission of The Sage Colleges.

Water Bottle Filling Stations at Sage College of Albany
Greener Sage_0042Sage College of Albany Student Government made a leadership gift of $25,000 to the Centennial Campaign to install eight water bottle filling stations — a significant capital improvement on the Albany campus, as well a “green” improvement.


Joyce Isabelle RSC 1988 Endowed Scholarship Fund
This fund was established in 2015 by Joyce Isabelle as part of the Centennial Campaign to provide scholarships to female RSC students.

Edilberto B. Olimpo, Jr. JCA ’88 Fund
This fund was established in 2014 by Julia Olimpo in memory of her son Edilberto, who received his associate degree in Graphic Design at the Junior College of Albany. The fund will provide an award to a rising graphic design senior whose academic work is worthy of recognition.

Russell Sage College Student Government Endowed Scholarship Fund
The Russell Sage College Student Government Classes of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 took a leadership role in the Centennial Campaign to establish this fund to provide scholarships to RSC students showing leadership qualities.

Sonders Family Scholarship Fund
Established in 2015 by Susan Lipnitzky Sonders RSC ’55 as part of the Centennial Campaign to provide much needed scholarship support to female Russell Sage College students.

Charlotte Shaw Tracy RSC 1966 Unrestricted Endowed Fund
This fund was established in 2014 by former trustee Charlotte Shaw Tracy as part of the Centennial Campaign.


Casey Lynch Book Award Fund
This fund was established in 2015 in memory of Casey R. Lynch to recognize his commitment in pursuing the Bachelor in Business Administration degree at Sage College of Albany. This fund provides opportunities to needy students at Sage College of Albany to acquire textbooks.


Lisa V. Carl Library Archive Fund
Lisa V. Carl RSC ’78

Francine Ebersman Class of 1979 Scholarship Fund
Francine Ebersman RSC ’79

Gicca-Coomes Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund
Francis and Joan Coomes Gicca RSC ’54

Jack Harris and Sybillyn Jennings Fund for First Year Interdisciplinary Academic Programs at Russell Sage College
Earl Harris Charitable Lead Trust

Alexandra Jupin Endowed Scholarship Fund
Alexandra Jupin JCA ’65, RSC ’67 and John Bean

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

Wanda Ratsek RSC ’58 Scholarship Fund
Fred and Wanda Ratsek Plagens RSC ’58

Scrimshaw Distinguished Visiting Artist Fund
Susan C. Scrimshaw and Allan Stern

Sherman David Spector Professorship Fund
Wilma Shaw RSC ’67*

Unrestricted Endowed Fund
Elizabeth Bennett Clark RSC ’37*
Alexander and Elizabeth Campbell Young RSC ’58



Bequests and other estate planned gifts provide for the long-term security of The Sage Colleges. Such gifts ensure future resources for students, faculty, programs and facilities. Legacy gifts that have enriched Sage this year include:

Bequest Yearbook PhotosElizabeth Bennett Clark RSC ’37, Janice Platt Harkess RSC ’48, Sylvia Kopplemann Leven RSC ’43, Eleanor Jordon Mason RSC ’42, Barbara Spillinger RSC ’52 and Jacqueline Trask Ulrich RSC ’50 generously directed bequests to Sage which are unrestricted and will support general operating needs and general endowment.

Elizabeth Bennett Clark RSC ’37, Helen Hamilton Clark RSC ’41 and Lt. James A. Kaljian SEC ’73 participated in Sage’s pooled income fund. These planned charitable gifts provided these donors income during their lifetimes and upon their recent passing were realized as gifts to Sage which will support general operating needs.

Elizabeth Bennett Clark RSC ’37 and Blanche Franklin Kent RSC ’53 established Charitable Gift Annuities which provided income during their lifetime and upon their recent passing were realized as gifts to Sage which will support general operating needs.

Wilma Shaw RSC ’67 included Sage as a beneficiary in her will, adding to the established Sherman David Spector Professorship Fund. Her gift will add to the support of professional development, operations and programming for senior members of the faculty within the Humanities department.

Roy Palmer, widower of Dorothy Hane Palmer RSC ’52, included Sage as a beneficiary of his will and designated his gift to support the tribute gardens of The Sage Colleges.

Sage is honored and grateful to be included in these charitable legacies from Sage alumni, spouses and friends.






The Office of Corporate, Government & Foundation Relations continues to build relationships with elected officials and participate in advocacy efforts through membership in the Council for Independent Colleges and Universities. Working with elected officials, OCGFR supported Sage’s efforts to help pass S5965 to prevent sexual assault on college campuses. Additionally, OCGFR worked with the Council for Independent Colleges and Congressman Paul Tonko’s office to support a Congressional letter, supporting the reauthorization of the Perkins Loan Program.


Throughout 2014-2015, a number of foundations provided additional support for  students, programs and capital projects.  Sage received a $50,000 grant from the Hannaford Charitable Foundation to establish a state-of-the-art nutrition assessment lab on the Russell Sage College campus. This gift positions Sage as the only higher educational institution in the greater Capital Region that has a facility equipped to expertly educate registered dieticians in the area of nutrition assessment. The Hannaford Nutrition and Physical Assessment Laboratory at Sage will allow faculty to enhance the curriculum, offer continuing education for registered dieticians and graduate highly skilled dietitians who serve in hospitals, outpatient facilities, fitness centers, WIC programs, and other community settings.

The Julia O. Wells Memorial Education Foundation continued its support of Sage, providing scholarship funds which help to recruit and retain talented students in our nursing program.

The A. Lindsay & Olive B. O’Connor Foundation and Sage enjoyed another year of partnership which saw an increase of scholarship funds geared toward helping students on both our Albany and Troy campuses.

Additionally, the Cleveland Foundation, Irene B. Miller Foundation, Hudson River Bank & Trust Co. Foundation, Inc., McGregor Links Foundation and many other generous foundation partners continued to support Sage and help us continue to make an impact in the Capital Region and beyond.


Corporate sponsorships provided funding for student scholarships, scholar-athletes via the Gator Golf Classic, the Sage Nutrition Lecture Series sponsored by CDPHP, a career fair and the Best Practices in the Treatment of Autism conference.

The Sage Colleges received a $100,000 donation from M&T Bank, to continue to support the Corporate Connections Scholarship Program each year for the next five years and to establish the M&T Bank Trading Simulation Room at Sage College of Albany.


Lynn Bradley of M & T Bank and five of M & T’s Corporate Connections scholars.

The Corporate Connections scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to students entering their final year of study, presented 104 scholarships (up from 90 in 2014) to outstanding students from the Capital Region. The program enjoyed its third record breaking year, with 24 new corporate and foundation partners and an overall growth of almost 100 percent since 2012.Corporate Connections continues to grow  as more companies see the direct impact the program has on the ability of students to graduate college and the recognition it brings to participating companies. Partners involved in the Corporate Connections program include longtime supporters Sodexo Education, Stewart’s Shops, BBL Hospitality, CDPHP and Enterprise Holdings, as well as new sponsors Clickit Digital, Zott Construction, W.B. Mason, CVS Health, Pepsi and other generous contributors.


Tim Tolton, Steve Furloungh and Gary March of Fidelis Care NY with Fidelis Care’s Corporate Connections scholar.

We are grateful for our government, foundations and corporate partners who enthusiastically support our mission of educating tomorrow’s leaders. As we approach 2016, our Centennial year, we look forward to continued philanthropic support and partnership.