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SRC provides $5 million community matching gift to Say Yes to Education Syracuse - largest single external gift the program has ever received

January 22, 2011

Sara Miller
(315) 443-9038

At a Jan. 22 reception at the Central New York Philanthropy Center, officials from SRC, Inc.—formerly Syracuse Research Corporation—announced that the company is making a $5 million community matching gift to Say Yes to Education Syracuse, helping to ensure current and future students in the Syracuse City School District have the resources to overcome the academic, social, health, and financial barriers to college access.  The reception was held prior to the Syracuse/Villanova game, site of the first ever Say Yes to Education Day at the Carrier Dome. 

Beyond the funds already provided by the Say Yes to Education Foundation, the SRC gift is the largest ever single gift to the Say Yes to Education Syracuse program.  The SRC community matching gift comes as part of Say Yes Syracuse’s newly announced fundraising campaign. 

As part of the new campaign, all new donations to Say Yes Syracuse will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $2 million dollars, by the Central New York Community Foundation and Say Yes to Education, Inc. The SRC’s community matching gift builds on that commitment. 

SRC President and CEO Bob Behler presented the gift to Say Yes Syracuse today. 

“SRC is a worldclass company because of our employees and I believe that the Say Yes to Education program will help us to bring focus on the national imperative of the need to enhance education in the secondary education system. Our hope is to take the Say Yes program to the next level through this matching challenge,” says Behler. 

“Say Yes is deeply appreciative of this generous gift from SRC,” says Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey, president of Say Yes, Inc.  “Thousands of students will benefit from new opportunities because of this support, helping to create better outcomes for our young people. The more Say Yes can reach students with resources and programs that nurture their gifts and talents, the stronger the community becomes as we build a college-ready and college-going culture in Central New York.” 

“We are incredibly grateful to SRC’s board and President and CEO Bob Behler for their incredible generosity to Say Yes and Syracuse’s children.  Their overwhelming support of Say Yes sends several powerful messages,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor.  “It says that SRC knows that education is the key to prosperity in our global knowledge economy.  It says that SRC is confident that Say Yes is the way to transform urban schools.  But most profoundly, it says that SRC truly believes that the talent we need to realize our potential as a city and as a region is right here in the children of the City of Syracuse.” 

Behler and his wife, Naomi, are passionate about education and community, and Bob’s own impressive education spans aerospace engineering, business management, and test pilot school, as well as being a national security fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has managed large programs at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory and for MITRE Corporation before coming to SRC. In addition, Bob has a distinguished career with the military. He was not only a command pilot, but lead numerous groups and retired as a 2-star general. 

“SRC needs innovative, tech savvy people to help us achieve our mission of keeping America safe and strong. Our goal is to be impactful leaders in the community and make education a priority for everyone,” says Behler. 

SRC is a not-for-profit research and development company with more than 50 years of experience in defense, environment and intelligence. SRCTec, an SRC company, provides manufacturing and logistics support for complex electronics systems. Together, through innovation in science, technology and information, they are redefining possible®. SRC works with the customer for the best solution – not the bottom line – resulting in nationally significant, next generation products and services. SRC and SRCTec employ more than 1,100 people in 14 offices throughout Colorado, Maine, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.  

Syracuse becomes first ‘Say Yes to Education City’ in the nation 

Also at the Jan. 22 reception at the Central New York Philanthropy Center, the City of Syracuse officially became the first “Say Yes to Education City” in the country. A distinction made by Say Yes to Education, Inc., the honor recognizes the continued success by Say Yes Syracuse, the City of Syracuse, and government and community supporters to build a national model program of district-wide educational reform. 

To recognize this distinction, Syracuse City Mayor Stephanie A. Miner today unveiled the design of one of 30 signs will be installed this spring around the city marking the achievement of Syracuse being named a “Say Yes to Education City.” 

 “Say Yes is a game changing organization that is helping to transform the aspirations of our city,” says Miner.  “Civic and business leaders, parents and grandparents, educators and their unions, leaders of the faith community and colleges, whole neighborhoods and non-profit organizations—everyone has been stepping up. We’re engaging the entire region to create a brighter future for our students, families and the city.” 

“Being a Say Yes City is more than just a name, and more than a fad,” said Peter Dunn, Central New York Community Foundation president. “We hope that the community will join with us to build the endowment needed to guarantee the college promise is available for generations to come.” The CNY Community Foundation connects donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to enhance the quality of life of those who live and work in Central New York. 

Additionally announced, two new institutions have joined the Say Yes compact–Colgate University and the Crouse Hospital School of Nursing. For a full list of the Say Yes network of private colleges and universities, and SUNY/CUNY schools that provide tuition assistance to qualified graduates of the Syracuse City School District visit:

About Say Yes Syracuse

Say Yes is a landmark collaboration that brings the Syracuse City School District, Syracuse University, Say Yes to Education, Inc., the Syracuse Teachers’ Association, the Syracuse Association of Administrators and Supervisors, the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, the American Institutes for Research, and a diverse group of Syracuse area corporate, non-profit, and philanthropic organizations together to organize people, time, money and resources to support city students. 

Syracuse is the first community in the United States committed to ensuring that all public school students can afford and succeed in college. Other cities have Say Yes chapters, including Philadelphia, Hartford, Conn., Cambridge, Mass. and New York City, but Syracuse is the first city to implement the Say Yes program district wide. Students who attend 10th, 11th and 12th grade and graduate from a Syracuse City School District high school are eligible for free college tuition at more than 100 Say Yes compact colleges in New York state.

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