OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley appointed 20-year development professional Mary Canale to the position of interim vice president of development and alumni relations. Canale succeeds Kerry Dorsey, who retires Oct. 13 after 13 years of exceptional service to her alma mater.
“We are fortunate and excited to have someone with Mary’s expertise and outstanding record of service to step into this role,” Stanley said. “She has played an integral part in developing the major gifts program for the college and in cultivating philanthropic relationships on behalf of the institution. Her success in securing private support has helped provide the margin of excellence that makes an Oswego education so valuable.”
Canale came to Oswego in 1996 as the coordinator of the Oswego State Fall Classic.
The following year, she became assistant director of development, and in 2002, she instituted the major gifts program at the college as director of major gifts.
Since 2007, she has served as associate vice president for development.
“Mary’s outstanding knowledge of our institution and our alumni family should provide a seamless transition, and will help us maintain the fundraising momentum and engagement created by the most recent campaign,” Stanley said. “She is a friendly face many alumni recognize, with an amazing energy level, enthusiasm and level of dedication suited to carry on Kerry’s success.”
Oswego College Foundation Board of Directors Chair Michael Durney, a member of the college’s Class of 1983, echoes Stanley’s sentiments.
“It has been a pleasure to participate in the significant growth of the foundation under Kerry’s leadership. Not only have we seen the phenomenal execution of the vision of two major fundraising campaigns, but, just as importantly, Kerry has focused part of her tenure around building a world-class organization,” Durney said.
“One of the byproducts of the focus on her team is the ability to have someone of the caliber of Mary Canale step into her new role,” Durney noted. “I’ve worked with Kerry and Mary and the team for many years and I am proud to have been a part of the outstanding work they have both done. While we’ll miss Kerry’s enthusiasm, experience and devotion, we know that the foundation’s leadership will be in excellent hands with Mary at the wheel.”
Canale and Dorsey, both alumnae from SUNY Oswego’s Class of 1981, worked closely together on the college’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign, Inspiring Horizons, which surpassed its five-year goal of $17 million by raising more than $23.8 million when it wrapped up in 2008.
They also led the college’s second campaign, With Passion & Purpose, which just exceeded its $40 million fundraising goal and raised $43.48 million by the campaign’s end on June 30, 2016. In addition, they oversaw the college’s Possibility Scholarship program.
Through the success of these campaigns, the college endowment grew from approximately $4 million in 2003 to more than $30 million today.
Privately funded scholarships have also increased to more than 350, resulting in more than $1 million being awarded annually to students.
In her 10 years as vice president and 13 years in the college’s development office, Dorsey provided “outstanding leadership on both day-to-day issues and in staying focused on the big picture,” Stanley said. “Kerry has led our alumni relations and development efforts to new heights, adapting to the ever-evolving nature of higher education fundraising.”
As vice president and Dorsey’s successor, Canale will serve as the college’s principal fundraiser and executive director of the Oswego College Foundation, and will oversee the Alumni and Parent Relations office. She will be a member of the President’s Council, which is made up of senior campus leaders and advises the president on a range of college matters.
“It is with unbridled optimism that I welcome Mary Canale to the position of interim vice president of development and alumni relations,” said William Spinelli of the Class of 1984, Oswego College Foundation Board of Directors member. “Mary’s proven passion will surely continue to inspire Oswego alumni and friends across America in advancing the mission of Oswego philanthropy to benefit our students, faculty and greater community.”
Canale lives in Oswego with her husband, Steven.
She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.