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Office develops strong connections to New Paltz

Development Photo
The Development staff is (front row, left to right) Kathryn Varuzza, Eileen Bastien, Shen-Yuan Shields, Barbara Caldwell, Donna Goodman, (back row, left to right) Maureen Aurigemma, Alan Dunefsky, Sally Cross, Judy Albertson and Jane Wood. Not pictured are Lisa Blume-Hartwell, Kathleen Carey and Shannon Sims. Varuzza and Aurigemma are filling in for Blume-Hartwell, who is on leave.

The Development Office staffs and manages the State University of New York (SUNY) New Paltz Foundation Inc., the non-profit, charitable organization through which gifts to the college are made by alumni, parents, friends, companies and retired faculty members.

Sally Cross, director of development, and her staff work with donors and campus members to determine how donations would have the most benefit.

"It's important for donors to see where their money is going and the impact their gifts have," said Cross.

Cross is joined in the Development Office by Eileen Bastien, director of donor relations; Barbara Caldwell, director of annual gifts; Kathleen Carey, clerk; Alan Dunefsky, assistant for special projects; Donna Goodman, corporate and Foundation relations officer, and Jane Wood, secretary.

Judy Albertson, coordinator of marketing and special events, organizes the college's annual spring and winter commencement ceremonies.

The Development Office works directly with Rayna Wendell, director, and Diane McCarthy, keyboard specialist, in the Alumni Affairs Office. (To view the Feb. 27, 2006 profile of Alumni Affairs, visit the News Pulse archives at

The Foundation is fiscally accountable for the money it receives and has its own business office staff that includes Shen- Yuan Shields, Foundation accountant, and Shannon Sims, director of finance. Lisa Blume-Hartwell, director of business operations, has implemented a database alumni and donor information that the Development Office maintains.

Last year, the Foundation raised $2 million from more than 5,000 donors. According to Cross, more than $1.3 million has been raised in 2007, with two months left in the fiscal year. Since 1976, the Foundation has raised more than $20 million in gifts of cash, artwork and other gifts to support the college.

Alumni and friends on the Foundation's board of directors work with the Development Office to raise funds and manage the organization's assets. Cross is the Development Office liaison to the 21-member board.

The most visible result of the Foundation's work, and one of its top fundraising priorities, is increasing the number and amount of scholarships.

In 2006, the Foundation awarded nearly 350 scholarships, totaling more than $200,000.

The Foundation hosts two annual events to raise funds for recruitment scholarship. The Scholarship Golf Tournament at Wiltwyck Golf Club in Kingston takes place on June 18. At the annual Celebrating New Paltz Gala at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz in November, the organization will honor Congressman Maurice Hinchey '68, '70g; Senator John Bonacic; and Assemblymember Kevin Cahill '77.

The Foundation's endowment (permanent investments that support particular programs and funds) totals $7.37 million.

The organization receives gifts to both unrestricted and restricted accounts. The Foundation also holds $3.36 million worth of artwork, paintings and antiques for the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art collection.

"Gifts to the Foundation change lives," said Cross. "We are fortunate that so many alumni, faculty, staff and members of the community are generous supporters of the college."

For more information about the Development Office and the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, visit the Foundation Web site.