One day, one million raised to support student success

Published: April 20, 2023 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University alumni and supporters around the world once again proved their commitment to supporting the next generation of Bobcats during OHIO’s fourth annual Giving Day on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. Generous donors shattered records for the total number of gifts in one day, contributing more than $1.1 million to experiential learning, scholarships, student support services and more.

As of midnight Tuesday, 2,672 donors from all 50 states had made 3,196 gifts totaling $1,181,553 – and counting. This represents an increase of more than 35 percent in donors and more than 25 percent in dollars from last year’s records. OHIO will continue to count any gifts mailed on or before Giving Day that are indicated for the initiative.

“Surpassing the million-dollar mark is an incredible milestone that really speaks to the passion alumni have for our University and how invested they are in helping students succeed,” said Ohio University President Hugh Sherman.

President Sherman and his wife, Nikki, supported one of the many Giving Day Challenges by matching the first $5,000 given to several funds that support Appalachian students, including the Appalachian STEM Enrichment Academy, the Appalachian Rural Health Institute, the Appalachian Scholars General Scholarship Endowment and the Appalachian Scholars Emergency Fund.

One of the most successful challenges of the day was a 2 p.m. “Power Hour” during which the Ohio University Foundation Board of Trustees and the Ohio University Alumni Association Board of Directors committed to match up to $20,150. During that hour alone, 353 people contributed $37,466 to 103 funds, not including the dollar-for-dollar match.

The Power Hour was only topped by the opportunity to (symbolically) name a College Green squirrel. For a gift of $18.04 or more to The Fund for OHIO, donors received a custom squirrel certificate featuring the name of their choice. Over the course of the day, donors named more than 1,000 squirrels with gifts to The Fund for OHIO.

Other challenges included a challenge to reach 25 gifts for the Ebony Bobcat Network Urban Scholarship Endowment to unlock an additional gift of $2,500 from Huey L. Ball ’67, a challenge to reach 77 donors for the Marching 110 Student Support Fund to unlock a gift of $5,000 from donors Matt and Jamie Green, a matching gift of $5,000 from donor Oscar Guerrero for gifts to the Copeland Scholars Experience Fund, and many more.

“OHIO’s Giving Day continues to grow thanks to incredible support from donors who are passionate about the work happening to support students on our campuses,” said Vice President of University Advancement and President and CEO of The Ohio University Foundation Nico Karagosian. “We’re especially thankful for our donors who came forward with challenge gifts, and also to alumni, students and supporters who may have made their first gift to the institution on Giving Day. Every dollar makes a difference.”

Students also participated in Giving Day in a number of ways, including donating to support the Cats Cupboard food pantry or participating as Giving Day influencers. Among student, faculty and staff influencers, the individual who drove donations from the largest number of individuals was Emma Erion, a student reporter at The Post and WOUB.

Every college on the Athens campus along with each of OHIO’s five regional campuses benefited from gifts made on Giving Day. Funds from each area were chosen to highlight OHIO’s focus on delivering the highest-caliber student experience and one that leads to success after graduation.