Coming Back to Make an Impact

Alumni at CBT 2021

Every Coming Back Together (CBT) reunion is about fun, fellowship and personal development. But it’s also about giving back—both giving time and inspiration to today’s students of color and giving financially to support underrepresented and first-generation students for decades to come through Our Time Has Come (OTHC) Scholarships.

OTHC students aren't just academically talented; they're passionately involved in community activities and outreach. Your scholarship gifts support individuals deeply rooted in societal betterment who go on to make an impact in our world. And your gifts to OTHC broadcast a clear message to the University community that you value diversity and stand with initiatives that uplift every individual, regardless of background.

CBT 2024 coincides with Syracuse University’s Forever Orange campaign to raise $1.5 billion philanthropic support. Multicultural Advancement set a goal to raise $15 million by Sept. 14, and we’re almost there. With a little more than five months to go, we have approximately $2 million left to raise so we can celebrate our collective achievement together at the CBT Gala.

“The final push is on, and every little bit helps,” says Bria Sowell, director of development in the Office of Multicultural Advancement. “We’re asking our alumni to elevate their giving in honor of CBT and the campaign in support of OTHC. The more money we raise, the more students in need that we are able to support. We’re looking for as many alumni to participate at whatever level they can.”

Many Ways to Give

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to giving, and there may be opportunities you hadn’t considered before.

Class Act Giving. It’s never too soon to start a habit of giving back. Class Act 2024 challenges each member of the Class of 2024 to make a gift of $24, which can be earmarked to any area of interest, including OTHC. Friends and family members can also honor members of the Class of 2024 by making gifts in their name. Seniors who support the Class of 2024 campaign will receive the Class Giving Campaign cord, a special orange, white and silver cord to wear with their cap and gown at Commencement. Visit Class of 2024 Campaign

Cash-Free Giving. There are many ways to give that don’t involve writing a check. While many alumni would love to support student scholarships in a significant way, not everyone has the ability to do so using cash. Planned giving allows individuals to plan a gift during their lifetime that will be made out of their estate at death, either from savings, securities or life insurance benefits.

By establishing a planned giving agreement with the Office of Multicultural Advancement, an alumnus can make the same stipulations to their gift as if they were giving us the funds today. In addition, the planned gift ‘counts’ toward current fundraising efforts, such as sorority and fraternity CBT campaign goals.

Gifts of securities or real estate can also be made at any time. For more information on planned giving or non-cash gifts, contact Bria Sowell '15, G'16 at

Give Over Time. While gifts of all sizes are welcomed, making a significant gift can be more affordable than most people realize. The University’s Hill Society Chancellor’s Circle membership level, for example, requires a gift of $25,000 or more. However, that gift can be pledged over five years. The $5,000 annual gifts can be further broken down into monthly payments of approximately $416. “By making regular incremental payments, a major gift becomes much more accessible,” says Sowell.

Matching Gifts. Making an impact can be even easier if you work for a company that matches employee gifts to nonprofit organizations. If your employer matches gifts, your donation can be doubled or tripled and counts towards pledge payments. To find out if your company has a matching gift policy, please go to the Matching Gift page and enter your employer's name. If your company is eligible, click on the Go to Matching Gift Form button to obtain and submit your company's matching gift form. Some companies even match gifts made by retirees, spouses and/or board members. 


The OTHC Program has been my beacon of hope, providing a sense of belonging and a home away from home. It has equipped me with the courage to overcome imposter syndrome and instilled invaluable skills of professionalism and networking. Thanks to the generous support of donors like you, students like myself can turn our dreams into reality. Thank you for believing in us.—Sofia Rodriguez ’24