Building Success On the Field and In the Classroom

Philanthropy most often occurs when individuals and organizations feel called to give to a cause that they believe strongly in and that helps improve the wellbeing of others. In the arena of higher education, often times, donors act on their passions to help develop and enrich the lives of students that may follow in their footsteps. With 64 campuses throughout SUNY System, there are a number of programs and initiatives individuals can support.

Recently, Binghamton University announced its largest gift in school history—a $60 million anonymous donation to create a new Baseball Stadium Complex. As impressive as this is for the Bearcat baseball players, this large gift will leave an impact on so much of the campus and community, well beyond the outfield walls.

An enhanced experience 

The new 84,000 square-foot facility will feature a new stadium, clubhouse, and indoor training facility, with expanded fan seating, locker rooms, batting cages, coaches' offices, study spaces, and an athletic training room. Not only will these new amenities have an immediate impact on the current and future members of the successful Division I baseball team, but it will also meet NCAA requirements for hosting post-season tournament play, enabled by an indoor turf baseball infield boasting a four-story ceiling. The potential benefits for the community and region these opportunities bring are huge.

It comes as no surprise that Binghamton's baseball team is receiving this spotlight, having amassed the most baseball championships in the American East Conference with six America East first-place finishes, four America East playoff championships, four NCAA tournament appearances. 15 former Bearcat players have also been recruited and selected by Major League Baseball teams. With the construction of the complex, more students, faculty, staff, and community fans of the team can show their support for the Bearcats, while taking in a new experience at the Baseball Stadium Complex.

This unprecedented gift also serves as a model to show how strong relationships with the larger SUNY community of alumni and philanthropists can lead to a multitude of benefits. Philanthropic giving to SUNY schools not only improves the education provided to our students, it also enhances the environment of our campus communities, and by extension, the experience of being a resident of New York State. Maintaining strong relationships with our alumni and community supporters is key to the future of our campuses, and the ability to continue to offer the best facilities and opportunities students need.

"This facility will also expand SUNY’s regional and national reach and exposure."

- SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson

The impact of this gift is being felt well before any shovels hit the ground to begin construction. SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson, who attended the announcement, spoke of the benefits felt know and later. "As a former Division 1 athlete, I know that the lessons sports teach—teamwork, discipline, and collaboration towards a common goal—are invaluable life lessons, which will be supported by this gift," she said. "This facility will also expand SUNY’s regional and national reach and exposure, inspire others to give back to further our academic and athletic excellence, and build on the tremendous level of community spirit within the Binghamton University community."

This unprecedented gift also serves as a model to show how strong relationships with the larger SUNY community of alumni and philanthropists can lead to a multitude of benefits. Philanthropic giving to SUNY schools not only improves the education provided to our students, it also enhances the environment of our campus communities, and by extension, the experience of being a resident of New York State. Maintaining strong relationships with our alumni and community supporters is key to the future of our campuses, and the ability to continue to offer the best facilities and opportunities students need.

The kind and generous hearts of SUNY supporters play an integral role to bolstering the future of SUNY and meeting the needs of our student, faulty, and staff. The Binghamton University community, and all of SUNY, is grateful to donors such as those that made this opportunity possible. To ensure that SUNY continues to offer high-quality educational experiences to all students, we remain committed to further developing key partnerships with donors and partner organizations throughout New York State and beyond.

Published February 2020