Chancellor Launches #SUNYTogether Fundraising Effort in Response To COVID-19 Crisis

April 10, 2020

Funds Will Provide Direct Student Support, Scholarships, and Technology Assistance; Support Medical Research for Testing, Prevention, and Treatment; Purchase And Produce Supplies For Medical Teams Statewide

SUNY Joins Governor Cuomo's "New York Loves" Coordinated Philanthropic Efforts

Albany – The State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson today announced #SUNYTogether, a far-reaching and multi-faceted fundraising effort intended to bolster the system's ongoing response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. SUNY joins Governor Cuomo's "New York Loves" coordinated philanthropic efforts.

#SUNYTogether aims to raise $10 million over the next several weeks, harnessing the generosity of the system's many alumni, stakeholders and allies, as well as corporate donors, to provide support for students and researchers and also to provide crucial supplies and protective gear for those on the front lines of the battle against this deadly virus. SUNY is proud to join the Governor's "New York Loves" to further expand the state's reach in coordinating donation efforts during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"SUNY is proud to join the Governor's 'New York Loves' to further expand the state's reach in coordinating donation efforts during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," Chancellor Johnson said. "Members of the SUNY family all across our system are doing their part in the fight against COVID-19, and we want to make sure they have everything they need to ensure their success. That includes providing technology and direct financial support for students continuing their studies at home, as well as funding for researchers working on better testing and treatments and supplies for medical personnel who are continuing to put their own lives at risk to protect the health and wellness of all New Yorkers."

Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "As New York continues to grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo's New York Loves effort will coordinate philanthropic resources to help New Yorkers impacted by this public health emergency. I am proud to count SUNY as part of this effort and the #SUNYTogether campaign will bring critical resources to help bolster our future leaders and support key medical research and supplies for frontline medical teams across the state."

Since SUNY has moved its academic programs online in keeping with social distancing protocols, it has become clear some of the 415,500 students are in need of laptops.

Thus far, 7,000 laptops have been procured and distributed, and another 2,000 are on order. Another 5,000 are still needed, at a cost of roughly $700 apiece – a total of $3.5 million, which will be raised through the Student Technology Assistance Fund.

In addition, Chancellor Johnson has set a goal of raising another $3.5 million for the Student Emergency Fund and the Student Scholarship Fund.

The Emergency Fund provides micro-grants for eligible students to help provide basic resources due to loss of wages or unexpected expenses such as food, transportation, housing, and more; while the Scholarship Fund will help eligible students stay on track to complete their degrees, with the amount provided based on need.

The chancellor intends to raise $1.5 million each for the Medical Research Fund and a newly created Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Fund.

SUNY is known for its academic excellence. The Medical Research Fund will provide student and faculty researchers with funding to support research into rapid-response treatments, resurgence prevention, and providing PPE for frontline responders.

Money secured through the PPE Fund will support efforts currently underway on multiple SUNY campuses to produce and donate face masks, shields, gowns, and other supplies.

This unprecedented system-wide fundraising effort will continue as regions across the state and nation are impacted by COVID-19. Potential donors should visit SUNY's website at

Additional Student Emergency Aid

In 2018, SUNY launched a student emergency aid pilot with funding from the Gerstner Family Foundation and the Heckscher Foundation for Children. This fund continues to provide microgrants to SUNY students in need. To date SUNY has helped more than 850 students with grants of up to $2,000. SUNY campuses also provide direct assistance to SUNY students through individual campaigns. For more information, please go to or directly to SUNY campuses.


About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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Holly Liapis
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