Russell Sage College

logo: Russell Sage College

Russell Sage College

logo: Russell Sage College
#SageStrong (2020)

Advancing Sage: Report of Appreciation


This has been a year with more than its share of challenges, which demanded so much more from all of us. You stepped up and helped to make our students’ success possible, and we want you to know that your support means so much. Thank you! 

We are proud to share some of this year’s achievements, made possible through the support of all of our generous donors. With your gifts to The Sage Fund for Excellence, students were able to obtain the scholarship and financial assistance needed to access their Russell Sage College education. When COVID-19 hit, you responded powerfully to our #SageStrong emergency fund, giving students the resources to continue their education in the midst of a global pandemic—Wi-Fi assistance, travel funds, help with food insecurity, campus accommodations and more. Your generosity also enabled us to successfully launch our new Women’s Institute, that will create opportunities for women and help build a more equitable world. Gifts to The Sage Fund for Excellence help move Russell Sage College forward, while allowing the college to remain flexible and nimble to respond to the moment. 

Russell Sage College’s 2019- 20 online donor report gratefully acknowledges the 2,310 donors who supported the annual fund and Sage’s special projects between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. This support totaled $1,363,547.53, and marks the 11th consecutive year The Sage Fund for Excellence has raised more than $1 million. We are so grateful.

This year has been stressful for all of us, and we are humbled by these incredible results. Your generosity is truly inspiring and demonstrates the commitment of our Sage community.  We could not do what we do without you. On behalf of our students who benefit from your ongoing commitment to Russell Sage, thank you for your generous support.

Advancement Infographic


During the 2019-20 year, Sage awarded over $673,000 in donor-funded endowed and restricted scholarships in addition to grants and institutional aid provided through the annual fund. As of June 30, 2020 the endowment had a market value of $39,189,795.

The Nan and Blos Endowed Fund will be established through a bequest from Nancy D. Davis, M.D. ’50 for use by the Women’s Institute at Russell Sage College.

Trustee Kathryn Merrick Diamond ’60 provided much-needed support for rebranding related to the college’s strategic plan, as well as funding for the newly-added baseball team.

Funding for the renovation of McMurray-Spicer-Gale and French houses was made possible through the generosity of Barbara Gural-Steinmetz ’72

Additional Significant Endowed and Restricted Funds

Susan Warren Beatty Faculty Award for Excellence in Research Fund
Susan Warren Beatty

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

Francine Ebersman RSC 1979 Last Mile Scholarship Fund
Francine Ebersman ’79

CDR. Jennifer R. Flather, U.S.N. (Ret) RSC 1986 Endowed Fund
CDR. Jennifer R. Flather ’86

General Endowed Fund
Chester J. H ’14 and Karen A. Opalka

Julia Greenstein ’78 and Paul Bleicher Scholarship Fund
Julia Greenstein ’78 and Paul Bleicher

Sally Lawrence Endowed Scholarship Fund
Sally Lawrence

M&T Bank Stock Trading Room
M&T Bank

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

Nursing & Health Sciences Clinical Simulation Center
George I. Alden Trust
William and Linda Novak Brennan ’71
John and Lynn Hickey Brennan ’77
George and Christine Hearst
Pamela Noé Janney ‘69
James C. and Janet Willis Jones ’68
Barton and Kristina Hanson Smith ’61

A. Lindsey and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation Scholarship Fund
A. Lindsey and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation

Opalka Family Scholarship
Chester J. H’14 and Karen A. Opalka

Dr. Paulette S. Politsch ’67 Endowed Scholarship Fund
Paulette S. Politsch ’67

President’s Discretionary Fund
Thomas and Judith Matsunaye Iovino ’73

Russell Sage College Centennial Operating Fund
John and Ann Paulhus Iwanicki ’86

Marcia Luloff Sabesin RSC 1956 Endowed Scholarship Fund
Marcia Luloff Sabesin ’56

Lisa Schieffelin ’85 and Andrew Svarre Last Mile Scholarship
Lisa Schieffelin ’85 and Andrew Svarre

Patricia Timpano Sparrell, RSC ’78 Service Learning Program Endowed Fund
Duncan and Patricia Timpano Sparrell ’78

Student and Faculty Travel Fund
Vincent and Roxanne Hosier Drnevich ’62

Strategic Impact Fund
The Buchman Foundation, Inc.

Veterans Fund
Richard and Donna Robinson Esteves ’70 H’16

Veterans Lounge
Terry Menzel and Nancy Valley ’81

Rosalind M. Wang Fund for Nursing
The Estate of Rosalind Wang

Julia O. Wells Memorial Educational Foundation Scholarship
Julia O. Wells Memorial Educational Foundation

The Women’s Institute
Mary Altpeter ’71
Elizabeth H. Braunstein ’66
Barbara Provus ’71

Legacy Gifts Received

We are grateful to the following alumnae and former faculty whose foresight during their lifetime created charitable bequests, trusts and other planned gifts. Their gifts totaled over $500,000 and strengthened the college by funding operating support, student scholarships and academic programs.

Unrestricted Gifts

Doris Charter, RSC ’52*
Marjorie Grathwohl Driver, RSC ’46*
Alice H. Kelsey, RSC ’56*
Patricia Newmark McCue, RSC ’56*
Edith McHugh, RSC ’62*
Phoebe Rankin, RSC ’48
Nancy Roman, H’66
Muriel Wilhelm, RSC ’43*

Endowed Student Scholarships

Christine Collard Devereaux, RSC ’56*
Mary Karpiak Foster, RSC ’42*

Other Endowed Funds

Rosalind M. Wang *

The late Professor Emerita Rosalind Wang created the Rosalind M. Wang Fund for Nursing in her lifetime and upon the occasion of the 90th Year of Nursing at Sage in 2012, added a provision in her will for more significant funding. A professor of nursing from 1958 to 1985, Wang was highly regarded in the nursing community and on a national and international level. She was instrumental in establishing relationships and nursing student exchange programs in China.

Wang wanted to enhance the educational experience for nursing students for generations to come. Now her legacy will continue through her fund’s ongoing annual support of nursing program expenses, special student research/activities and lectures.


The Office of Corporate, Government and Foundation Relations builds relationships with foundations, businesses, government agencies and elected officials, and secures grants that fund scholarships, fellowships and events, and advance research, programs and campus renovations projects.

Corporate Relations

In today’s workforce the power of a degree earned at Russell Sage College cannot be understated. A Sage degree is an important indicator to companies and hiring professionals that Sage students have learned the necessary skills required to qualify for a position within a company.

Russell Sage College is dedicated to partnering with corporate sponsors that believe in investing in rising professionals. Corporate donations provide funding for student scholarships, scholar-athletes, and educational and community events such as Sage’s annual Nutrition Lecture.

The Corporate Connections Scholarship Program is the OCGFR’s signature program. Donations provide direct debt relief to students from the Capital District entering their junior or senior year. These students have demonstrated achievement, determination and financial need. Since the program’s creation, over $1.4 million in scholarships have been awarded to more than one thousand exceptional Sage students. This year’s Corporate Connections partners included longtime supporters, Sodexo Education, M&T Bank, Stewart’s Shops, Crisafulli Bros., Sano-Rubin Construction, Maggs & Associates, CDPHP and Toshiba Business Solutions. NHKelman, Inc. once again was recognized as the event sponsor of the program.

Additionally, the OCGFR connects companies to audiences that enjoy and patron the arts. Businesses recognize that supporting arts and cultural programs can help to build communities. The stronger the community is, the better the business opportunities can be for a company. The Theatre Institute at Sage and the Opalka Gallery are the center of a vibrant art scene at Russell Sage College. Support of these programs position them to grow and expand outreach efforts into the Capital Region. The arts nurture inspiration, empathy, and leadership — sponsors of Russell Sage College’s performing and fine arts invest in innovation in an ever-evolving economy.

CDPHP generously kick started a major new initiative, Thrive @ Russell Sage. The vision of Thrive reflects a college-wide emphasis on health, well-being, life success and happiness — broadly defined and supported by a unified curriculum. This initiative is aligned with the college mission, focuses on the infusion of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness that improve health, well-being, life success and happiness throughout our campuses.

Renaissance Corporation of Albany generously renewed funding to maintain two academic advisor positions. These advisors are charged with increasing student success, graduation rates, and learning outcomes by working across campus to connect students to resources.

Government Relations

At Russell Sage College we were able to respond the COVID-19 pandemic by advocating for support from the government. Our congressional delegates were activated by Sage leadership to fight for critical federal and state funding necessary to relieve our budget from the economic impact. Along with lobbying for emergency support, ongoing activity across government agencies, with support from the Council for Independent Colleges, continues to benefit Sage students.

Foundation Relations

Throughout 2019-20, the OCGFR worked with several foundations to bring additional support to Sage students, programs and capital projects. A grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation provided funds for a new health sciences simulation lab and control room where Nursing, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy faculty monitor and record students and critique their performance in a safe environment.