Impact Newsletter 2019

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First comprehensive and largest fundraising campaign in our history

“I have borrowed thousands of dollars in student loans and I paid my own tuition bill while I was in school. The generosity of the Gassett-Schiller family has alleviated some of my financial hardships and allowed me to allocate more of my focus onto my studies.”

Proud group of Eastern Bank employees who are Salem State students and alumni.






49 new scholarship funds created DONORS



lumni 312+ • • AFriends

• S tudents • S taff

of full-time faculty/staff


increase in Crosby Society (planned giving)



$39.3m $18.9m

Assets more than doubled


Transferred nearly 4x cash to the university

“We grow by serving individuals, families, companies, and organizations throughout the North Shore and beyond, with a commitment to support and advocate in this region we call home,” says Nancy Huntington Stager, Eastern’s executive vice president and chief human resources officer, and a member of Salem State’s Board of Overseers. Eastern Bank’s most recent university gift, $10,000 in unrestricted funds, brings its total Salem State giving to over $700,000. Over the past decade, they join over 7,000 other donors, both individuals and corporations giving at all levels, to provide the university with critical, flexible dollars to primarily aid students. “We are so very proud to work with Salem State, to help advance higher education, workforce development, and economic opportunity in our community,” says Stager. “We’re even prouder to see the educations and careers of so many in our community thrive because of our work together.” “Helping individuals, families, and businesses achieve their goals and dreams is core to our mission,” says Laura Kurzrok, the recently retired executive director of the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation. “Making it possible

Affordability struggles are evident at Salem State, where nearly 95 percent of undergraduate students request financial aid and 35 percent are first in their families to attend college. To further help students overcome these hurdles, Eastern Bank employs more graduates from the University than from any other school—filling roles from bank teller to executive vice president—and supports numerous career readiness and educational programs. One such employee is Filipe Gomes ’19, who works at Eastern Bank as an assistant branch manager in Peabody. “I started working at Eastern Bank three years ago, during my freshman year,” Gomes says. “My experience has been absolutely invaluable. I have made life-long connections and expanded on my financial education.” Lauren Hubacheck, assistant dean of student success and transition in career services, echoes Gomes’ sentiment. “Eastern Bank remains one of the top employers for Salem State University, solidifying a longtime partnership that truly benefits both organizations,” she says. “It’s really branded itself as a ‘go-to’ for our students and graduates.”

Cheryl Crounse Vice President, Institutional Advancement Executive Director, Salem State Foundation 352 Lafayette Street • Salem, MA 01970 978.542.7527 •

to financial aid

Established just down the road from Salem State’s main campus in 1818, Eastern Bank has long recognized higher education as fundamental to the community’s vitality.



Scholarship endowment market value more than tripled

Thank you for your support of Salem State University. We are grateful for the impact you have made on the lives of our students.

donors gave

for students to stay in school aligns with this mission. With the cost of education today, many students struggle to balance work and school, and still do not have sufficient funds to cover all of their expenses.”



It’s a little-known fact: the nation’s largest and oldest mutual bank launched in Salem more than 200 years ago.

Institutional Advancement 352 Lafayette Street Salem, Massachusetts 01970-5353


Leeanna Singleton ’19 Kim Gassett-Schiller ’83, ’18H Tutoring Scholarship


In 2016, Salem State completed 10,000 Reasons, the first comprehensive and largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history. Gifts of every size from alumni, students, faculty, staff, and the greater community helped us raise $26.5 million. The campaign’s success dramatically boosted many important needs across campus.



Thanks to philanthropy, Salem State awards financial aid and scholarships to many deserving students—reducing financial barriers to higher education and making dreams a reality. Here, five students and alumni share their perspectives on what it’s like to receive support for their education.

Some of Salem State’s most steadfast supporters can be found right on campus.

“Thank you again for your generosity and support. This scholarship has really helped me, especially coming from a family that is not so wealthy. I promise you I will work very hard and eventually give something back to others.” James Hernandez ’21 Arthur T. Gerald, Jr. Scholarship Fund “I truly love SSU and the wonderful faculty that got me to where I am today. I was an A/B student in college and I’d like to thank everyone for getting me here.” Adam Parise ’20 Walsh Family Scholarship “I chose Salem State because it was known as the teachers’ college. Education was and still is an utmost belief here. I am proud to be an alumna! Thank you for your generosity. I hope that I can give back both as a teacher and possibly a scholarship to future students. I am so appreciative of you for paying it forward to students such as myself.” Mikaela Fairman ’18, ’19G Presidential Diversity Scholarship “The scholarship has helped me in many ways. It helps me to focus on academic studies instead of working and allows me to maintain straight A’s in all my classes. Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t be able to devote so much time to studying.” Brandon Williams ’21 Thomas ’65 and Patricia Marmen ’66, ’69G Scholarship Fund “The scholarship I received has allowed me to take one step further towards my goal of graduating from college and has given me more of an appreciation for what I’m learning in the classroom. After I graduate, I want to go into the Peace Corps. That is my ultimate dream, and my long-term goal is being an elementary school teacher in the United States. I really appreciate being able to take my college education further and continuing to push myself.” Caroline Robitaille ’21 Class of 1965 Scholarship and Pasquale E. Starble Family Scholarship Award

Bruce Perry, assistant dean of enrollment management and student life, is one of the university’s top habitual donors, having supported 15 projects through crowdfunding: giving by groups of people to directly support student activities, projects and scholarships. “I’m very motivated by our students’ selflessness in donating both time and effort to serve others,” says Perry, whose crowdfunding donations largely champion community service projects. “Work ethic and humility are constant characteristics in our students. I want to support their initiatives.” Bruce Perry

Above top, The Kigali Genocide Memorial Above, Salem State student Esthefany Fuentes at Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village

Of Salem State’s 1,700+ crowdfunding donors since 2015, 208 gave at least twice and more than 50 gave numerous times. Like Perry, the majority of these top repeat donors are current faculty and staff.


To examine the root causes of this atrocity, Salem State’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies brings 40 students annually on a service trip to Rwanda. There, students strengthen their intercultural empathy and deepen awareness of international human rights abuses. “In the midst of poverty, struggles and traumatic history, Rwandans were able to find a degree of hope, love and unity,” says Esthefany Fuentes ’18G, who traveled there last year. “A piece of me will forever remain with the oh-so-beautiful and resilient Rwanda.” Making these kinds of educational opportunities possible is a $1 million grant by the Cummings Foundation in 2014 to support the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies—both immediately and for generations to come. Bill and Joyce Cummings generously support organizations that empower individuals and the greater community to combat inequity, ethnic

hatred, and mass violence. Bill Cummings has publicly stated, “Never forget that when prejudice and intolerance are tolerated, they are as well condoned and encouraged. We urge all of you…to be the force that helps to build bridges, especially for our marginalized neighbors.” Dan Eshet, PhD, the center’s program director, deeply appreciates the positive impact of such meaningful philanthropy. “Endowed support from visionary donors like the Cummings Foundation gives students concrete, immediate and unique perspectives in the real world that they simply wouldn’t access otherwise,” he says. “Their generosity ensures the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies—including our students, faculty, and staff members— will continue to impact society very far into the future.” The Cummings Foundation’s support represents one of 221 endowments created by generous individuals and foundations across the university over time. Of these perpetual funds, 158 support scholarships and 63 fuel departmental needs as diverse as the Sophia Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts, Wellness U, and Bertolon School of Business.

“I don’t want students’ finances to be the barrier to having an amazing personal growth experience,” she says. “We want them to go beyond our borders and take advantage of what the world has to offer.” Elisa Castillo

Associate Professor of Nursing Anne DeFelippo, PhD, JD, RN, CNE, champions her department’s students in numerous ways—including support for the annual recognition ceremony that celebrates graduates’ transition into the nursing profession. “It’s helpful for faculty and staff to give because it demonstrates that we believe in the public good created by our university,” says DeFilippo. “When we donate to Salem State, we’re sustaining the work that changes graduates’ lives forever.”

Anne DeFelippo

Alumni have caught the habitual crowdfunding bug, too. Chris Corrente ’10, ‘12G, coordinator of college-based advising at UMass Lowell’s Francis College of Engineering and a Salem State University Alumni Association Board member, has given to six different crowdfunding projects at Salem State that include scholarships and professional development support in Higher Education and Student Affairs—his area of graduate study.

Chris Corrente

“With crowdfunding, there’s a goal in mind,” Corrente says. “We can watch that goal being met over weeks or months. You see postings on social media that say, ‘We’re getting close! Who will be the person to put us over the finish line?’ It becomes a friendly competition.”


Salem State has raised more than $209,000 through crowdfunding since 2015. Let’s take a closer look at the reach and results to date for the university’s community-fueled fundraising approach:






supported across the following categories:


• • • • • •

Elisa Castillo, PhD, assistant dean of students for wellness, loyally supports crowdfunding projects that enable students’ service trips to Puerto Rico.

Right, 2018 Rwanda Service Learning Students with Professor Dan Eshet during a safari in the Akagera National Park

The brutal Rwandan genocide shocked the world in 1994. An estimated 1 million people were killed and millions more displaced because of the horrific crimes against specific ethnic groups and social classes there.




Scholarships Groups or Clubs Classes Course Trips Programs or Events Departments or Majors

HERE IS THE LIST OF WHAT THE INTERVIEWEES GAVE TO: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Puerto Rico Community Service Trip Alternative Spring Break Funding End Hunger at Salem State Chris Joyce ’18 Scholarship LASO Service Trip to Puerto Rico Support Hurricane Victims Vikings Build-A-Bed Challenge Ellison Campus Center 50th Anniversary Celebration Dr. Richard Elia Scholarship HESA Professional Development Grant National Young Feminist Leadership Conference Cultural Immersion & Service Learning – Nursing School of Nursing Recognition Ceremony Honoring the Legacy of Meservey Nursing Service Trip to Jamaica The Difference Makers Formal Military Ball Vikings CARE Bystander Intervention Training Support Senior Week Activities Athletics – VeSPY Awards Renovation of Outdoor Preschool Classroom Viking Student Voyages Got Consent? Campus Educators on Sexual Assault