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YSU, donors celebrate ‘Tomorrow’s’ success today

YOUNGSTOWN — Key donors who contributed to Youngstown State University’s seven-year “We See Tomorrow” fundraising campaign gathered Thursday to celebrate the initiative’s success in far exceeding its original goal.

“You were all critical to the program’s success,” Jocelyne Kollay Linsalata, the campaign’s chairwoman, said during a private event Thursday afternoon under a tent next to the Pollock House on Wick Avenue.

Many donors attended the gathering to celebrate the end of the campaign, which raised $126,187,126 — exceeding the initiative’s original $100 million goal.

The amount is by far YSU’s largest in its 113-year history and is thought to be the Mahoning Valley’s biggest philanthropic effort. The campaign, led by the YSU Foundation, the university’s fundraising arm, attracted more than 32,500 gifts, including 40 of $1 million or more as well as 57 of at least $100,000.

“We are simply overwhelmed by the generosity of the Mahoning Valley and alumni and friends across the nation. We saw tomorrow, and now, tomorrow is here,” Linsalata said.

“It was a lot of hard work by a lot of people over a long period of time,” YSU President Jim Tressel added. “Everyone jumped in and wanted to help as much as they could.”

Tressel also said he was proud to see the continued growth of the Sokolov Honors College, which supports students’ efforts to land their dream jobs, receive full scholarships for graduate study and secure national and international scholarships.

He also praised the consortium of the university and its business partners, such as America Makes, the Youngstown Business Incubator, the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition, Eastern Gateway Community College and others, which led to the creation of the Excellence Training Center.

In addition, Tressel read aloud the names of what he called the “fantastic 40,” the 40 individuals, couples and businesses who contributed gifts of $1 million or more to the fundraising effort.

“The level of support we experienced through this campaign is nothing short of remarkable,” Paul McFadden, the YSU Foundation’s president said. “You all made this possible.”

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