SUNY Oswego announced Friday that it has received the largest single donation in its history.
The estate of Oswego County resident Lorraine Marano gave $7.5 million to fund scholarships for students with financial need -- particularly first-generation college students.
SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley says that even though neither Marano or her husband Nick attended the university, she was a longtime admirer of the school.
"She was very connected to what we did here at the campus. She was very eager to advance education, higher education, especially public higher education, because it had made such a difference in her life and she knew the power of it," said Stanley.
The gift will create the Nunzio "Nick" C. and Lorraine E. Marano Endowment.
The Maranos were long-time residents of Oswego County, and owned an agricultural business in Scriba.
A close friend of Lorraine Marano's said in a press release that her goal in making the donation was to help make college affordable for all students, and that she had confidence in SUNY Oswego and the opportunities it provides its students. Lorraine Marano died on Oct. 1, 2013.
This donation comes just over a year after a $5 million gift by Barbara Shineman and the Shineman Foundation, which funded the new science building on campus.
Stanley said that Lorraine Marano was impressed by the donation by Barbara Shineman and that it made her think favorably about giving her own donation.
The SUNY Oswego president also said that the university's endowment has grown "exponentially" over the last 10 years, because of what she described as good financial management and the initiatives the university has recently put in place to raise funds.