To Be, To Know, To Do: Alumni Giving Enables Sage “To Do” More

Gretchen Garden Dedication9_!4

“I didn’t start out in life like this—with the ability to give back—so at this stage in my life it is a privilege to be able to give a gift to make this happen for Sage and its amazing students,” said Hal Schindler, the widower of Gretchen Alberty Schindler ’55, who created Gretchen’s Garden in his wife’s memory on the Russell Sage campus

Sage donors epitomize the highest values captured in our college motto, To Be, To Know, To Do. You understand that character is proven by action. You are doers! And your gifts reflect your passion for Sage.

We are fortunate to have you as a donor and grateful for your generosity.


Between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, over 4,000 enthusiastic donors gave close to $10 million to The Sage Colleges in gifts, pledges, grants, and bequests. Sage is grateful to all of our alumni and friends who invest in our students and our mission. Your passion is our strongest asset as we approach our centennial and build a Sage for the second century that will continue to be excellent, relevant and engaged.


Almost 4,000 donors supported The Sage Fund for Excellence in fiscal year 2013-2014.  Their generosity translated into $1.147 million, marking the  fifth consecutive year of the annual fund has  raised more than $1 million dollars.

Gifts to The Sage Fund for Excellence directly benefit  students by providing scholarships, academic program enhancements, talented faculty, and an empowering living and learning environment. Ninety percent of Sage students receive financial aid, which we are able to offer thanks, in large measure, to annual fund support.


Leadership and Major Gifts from alumni and friends totaled more than $4.1 million in fiscal year 2013-2014 including more than $1.2 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.


Thanks to a gift from Harold Schindler, widower of Gretchen Alberty Schindler ’55, the area between Ackerman Hall and the Troy Public Library has been transformed into an attractive courtyard known as Gretchen’s Garden.

Thanks to a gift from Harold Schindler, the widower of Gretchen Alberty Schindler RSC ’55, an area on 2nd Street in Troy, between Ackerman Hall and the Troy Public Library has been transformed into an attractive courtyard known as Gretchen’s Garden.

President Scrimshaw and Donna Esteves RSC ’70 in the Russell Sage College Tribute Garden

President Scrimshaw and Donna Esteves RSC ’70, after a ceremony that dedicated benches in the Russell Sage College Tribute Garden in honor of Virginia Diehl RSC ’44 and Lois Bennett RSC ’51 during Reunion weekend.

Multiple generous gifts enhanced the Tribute Garden on the Russell Sage campus.The Tribute Garden on the Russell Sage campus is next to  Carriage House, between Spanish House and Frear House. The Tribute Garden on the Albany campus is located 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.

The George I. Alden Trust classroom in the Armory at Sage College of Albany.

The George I. Alden Trust provided funding for state-of-the-art technology in a classroom in the Armory at Sage College of Albany.

The George I. Alden Trust provided funding for state-of-the-art technology in a classroom in the Armory at Sage College of Albany.  Faculty and students are eagerly exploring the new education and learning opportunities in this high-tech classroom.

Simulaids, a New York-based leader in healthcare simulation, donated a Smart Mom birthing manikin to the School of Health Sciences’ simulation labs on the Russell Sage College campus. High-fidelity medical simulation training uses lifelike manikins that can demonstrate realistic signs and symptoms including heart and breath sounds, blood pressure, abdominal sounds, pulse and even eye dilation and allow students to safely practice invasive procedures.




New Endowments

In addition to leadership gifts supporting capital projects, the significant gifts that build Sage’s endowment are also vital and greatly appreciated.

Marjorie Fernleaf Booth RSC ’50 Scholarship Fund
Established in 2013 by Allan Booth, Jr. in memory of his wife, for Occupational Therapy or Health Sciences students at RSC.

CDPHP Endowed Fund for the Health Sciences
CDPHP established this fund to provide annual funding support to the School of Health Sciences.

Carrie L. Cokely RSC 1997 Endowed Scholarship Fund
This fund was established by Carrie L. Cokely to provide scholarships to students at Russell Sage College.

Esteves School of Education Endowment Fund
This fund was established by Donna Robinson Esteves RSC ’70 to provide annual support to the Esteves School of Education.

David and Carol Sweet Morse RSC 1966 Unrestricted Endowed Fund
Established by David and Carol Sweet Morse to provide unrestricted funding support to The Sage Colleges.

Sheila Sutland Pakula RSC ’56 Scholarship Fund
Established by Lawrence C. Pakula, M.D., in honor of his wife on the occasion of her birthday. Income from the fund will be used to support Russell Sage College students who are academically worthy and economically in need.

Martin and Sara Jane Benson Victor RSC 1958 Endowed Scholarship Fund
This fund will be established through an estate gift by Martin and Sara Jane Benson Victor. Income will provide scholarships to Russell Sage College students with first preference to graduates of the Oakwood Friends School.

Martin and Sara Jane Benson Victor RSC 1958 Unrestricted Endowed Fund
This fund will be established through an estate gift by Martin and Sara Jane Benson Victor. Income will provide unrestricted funds to The Sage Colleges.

New Restricted Funds

The Terry M. Cannizzaro SCA ’11 SGS ’14 Award Fund
This fund was established by Sage faculty and friends to recognize Terry Cannizzaro’s commitment and courage in pursing the Masters of Business Administration degree at Sage’s  School of Management.  It will provide recognition to superior faculty at Sage’s Graduate Schools on an annual basis.

Additional Significant Gifts to Endowments and Scholarships

Lorraine Walker Chair in Psychology Fund
Estate of Lorraine Walker Bardsley RSC ’38 H ’01

Judith A. Barnes Ph.D. Faculty Fellowship in Communications Fund
Goldberg Charitable Trust

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

Unrestricted Endowed Fund
Elizabeth Campbell Young RSC ’58

Doris A. Charter ’52 Endowed Fund
Doris A. Charter ’52

General Unrestricted Magic Campaign Fund
A. Alexandra Jupin JCA ’65, RSC ’67 and John Bean
Antonia Friedman RSC ’59
Sandra Bagley La Monda RSC ’62
James E. and Elizabeth Wyman Morley RSC ’62
David S. and Carol Sweet Morse RSC ’66

Virginia Earles Research Award Fund
Estate of Virginia Earles

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

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

Dr. Glenda Bartholomew Kelman RSC 1972, SGS 1974 Nursing Scholarship Fund
Donald Kelman
Glenda Bartholomew Kelman, Ph.D., RSC ’72, SGS ’74
NHKelman, Inc.

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

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

Scrimshaw Stern Student Travel Fund
Susan C. Scrimshaw and Allan Stern

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

Amy Tanner Markell RSC 1994 Scholarship Fund
Estate of Amy Tanner Markell RSC 1994

Florence H. Zeve, RSC 1952 and Harvey L. Zeve Jeanne H. Neff Athletic Center Endowed Fund
Harvey and Florence Haspel Zeve RSC ’52


Government Relations

The OCGFR built and maintained relationships with elected officials and participated in advocacy efforts through Sage’s membership in the Council for Independent Colleges and Universities during fiscal year 2013-2014.

In September 2013, the C-SPAN bus visited Russell Sage College on its national tour to promote the series “First Ladies: Influence and Image.” Students, faculty and high school students from the community got to tour the interactive multimedia presentation center. In conjunction with the C-SPAN visit, Time Warner Cable joined Russell Sage College to host New York State Senators Kathy Marchione and Cecilia Tkaczyk and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, who discussed their public service and issues facing women in office.

As we look toward the upcoming legislative sessions, OCGFR will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with federal lawmakers and will routinely visit the capitol in Albany.

Foundation Relations

Throughout 2014, OCGFR worked with a number of foundations to bring in additional support for  students, programs and capital projects. In addition to the generous leadership gift provided by the George I. Alden Trust, the Julia O. Wells Memorial Education Foundation continued to provide funds to help to recruit and retain talented nursing students.

The A. Lindsay & Olive B. O’Connor Foundation provided additional scholarship funds to help students on at Sage College of Albany and Russell Sage College.

Additionally, the Cleveland Foundation, Bender Scientific Fund, McCarthy Charities, Inc., McGregor Links Foundation and many other foundation partners support Sage, and help Sage continue to make an impact in the Capital Region and beyond.

Corporate Relations

The Sage Colleges continued to build relationships with corporate partners. Corporate sponsorships provided funding for student scholarships through the Corporate Connections Scholarship program; scholar-athletes through the Gator Golf Classic; and events such as the Nutrition Speaker Series sponsored by CDPHP, Sage’s Career Fair, and the Best Practices in the Treatment of Autism Conference.

The Corporate Connections Scholarship Program, which provides financial assistance to students entering their final year of study, presented 90 scholarships to outstanding students from the Capital Region. The program enjoyed another record breaking year, with 13 new corporate and foundation partners, and an overall growth of almost 75 percent since 2012. In  the past two years, 29 new companies and foundations have joined  Corporate Connections to support local students.  We hope to provide 100 Corporate Connections scholarships by Sage’s 100th anniversary in 2016.

Corporate Connections


Bequests and Planned Gifts 4Bequests and other estate or planned gifts provide for the long term security of The Sage Colleges. Such gifts ensure future resources for talented students, dedicated faculty and state-of-the-art programs and facilities.

Each of these gifts, no matter the dollar amount, provides wonderful support to Sage’s students, structures and endowment. We miss the presence of these alumni and friends, but gladly share the powerful news of their legacy gifts that have been realized and have enriched Sage this year.*

Lois Bennett RSC ’51 made Sage a beneficiary of her IRA. Virginia Diehl RSC ’44, Jo An Huff RSC ’50, and Jacob Smit, widower of Norma Sallada Smit RSC ’50, made Sage a beneficiary of their wills. All these bequest gifts have provided a significant addition to the unrestricted endowment of the college.

Amy Tanner Markell RSC ’94 made Sage a beneficiary of her will, with a generous bequest providing scholarships for Russell Sage College students majoring in the health sciences. The estate of Edith Leora Dennis RSC ’34 selected Sage as a beneficiary with a gift establishing the Edith Dennis Scholarship Fund for math and science scholarships.

Bernice Squires Cohen RSC ’36, Philip Marinelli, widower of Ruth Laidlaw Marinelli RSC ’51, and Lucia Marihugh Ryan RSC ’45 directed bequests to Sage in their wills or estate plans which were realized this year and provided necessary general operating support, with Ms. Ryan’s gift specifically supporting the Russell Sage College Chemistry Department.

Edgar Cortright, widower of Beverly Hotaling Cortright RSC ’47, named Sage as a beneficiary of a Charitable Remainder Trust, with a significant gift that supported unrestricted operating and unrestricted endowment for Sage.

Elizabeth Bennett Clark RSC ’37 participated in Sage’s Pooled Income Fund and Sage’s Charitable Gift Annuity program. These types of planned charitable gifts provide donors with income during their lifetimes and upon their passing, are realized as gifts to support general operating needs at Sage.

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

*Bequest gifts in fiscal year 7/1/13-6/30/14.