April 26, 2018

Purdue Day of Giving hits $37.6 million, sets fourth straight record for 24-hour higher-ed campaign

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University set the collegiate record for single-day fundraising on Wednesday (April 25), raising $37.6 million through Purdue Day of Giving and besting its own record-setting performance of $28.2 million in 2017. This year’s online event marked the fourth consecutive year that Purdue has raised the most dollars for higher education in a 24-hour timespan.

All told, Purdue Day of Giving has raised $105.3 million since it launched in 2014. A YouTube video is available here.

At 18,663 donations, the event also set a Purdue record for number of gifts received in a single day, surging past last year’s count of 15,181. Donations came in from 58 countries—a new Purdue record—and all 50 states.

Giving show Purdue Day of Giving featured a free comedy show at Elliott Hall of Music starring “Daily Show” comedians David Angelo, Aasif Mandvi and Michael Kosta. (Purdue University photo/Gerry Robiños) Download image

Funds raised support the gamut of initiatives, programs, and activities at Purdue, such as life-giving drug discovery, work in environmental sustainability, and student leadership and enrichment opportunities.

“Since its inception, Purdue Day of Giving has become a record-setting national landmark and perhaps the 24 most exciting hours on the entire Purdue calendar,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. “We are grateful to the students, alumni, parents, friends, retirees, faculty and staff who have supported us so enthusiastically and created this new, unifying Purdue tradition.”

Purdue Day of Giving ran from midnight to midnight on Wednesday, under the banner “Make Your Mark.” Despite technical difficulties with the online giving site early on, donors contributed throughout the day to campuses, colleges, schools, programs and student organizations of their choice. Thirty hourly challenges and six full-day challenges engaged Purdue’s 66 participating academic and non-academic programs in friendly competition for cash prizes, and 156 student organizations participated in a challenge specifically for them.

Gifts ranged in size from $1 to $8 million. Approximately 94 percent were made online. JeanAnne and James Chaney contributed the $8 million gift to their Pacesetter Endowment for Pharmacy, citing their desire to keep Purdue’s pharmacy program in the top 10 and to support student scholarships and the university’s affordability measures. It’s the largest individual gift ever made to the College of Pharmacy.

Giving Pete In 24 hours, Purdue Day of Giving raised $37.6 million from 18,663 donations. (Purdue University photo/Gerry Robiños) Download image

Among other gifts made on the day:

• Don and Liz Thompson, alumni of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, created a $1 million endowment in support of the Minority Engineering Program and scholarships for minority engineering students. “We want to pay it forward,” said Don Thompson, a Purdue trustee.

• Michael Fouch, a graduate student in human resources management, gave $75 to Boiler Gold Rush and $10 to Purdue’s Old Masters program. “I’ve been really involved in these organizations,” he said, “so it hits home that students can give opportunity to other students by making a donation.”

• With a gift of $25,000, mathematics alumnus Chi Hin Kwan established a merit scholarship for Hong Kong students attending Purdue.

• Lee Harwell, Jr., and Elise Klein made a $100,000 endowed gift in honor of professor Jay Melosh to fund undergraduate attendance at academic conferences. Their daughter, Megan Harwell, is studying applied physics and planetary science.

• Ron and Susie Dollens gave $690,000 to the College of Education to fund access to master’s-level coursework in STEM.

“Every year we are so grateful to the thousands of individuals, foundations and corporations that contribute to Purdue on our Day of Giving,” said Amy Noah, vice president for development. “Five years ago, we wanted to create a special event that would rally the Purdue family in support of the university. Since then, people have responded to the opportunity, the excitement and of course the competitions—and far exceeded our expectations. Now we’re seeing some of our supporters wait for this window of time to make significant commitments and legacy gifts, just to be part of the day. We are amazed by the generosity and spirit of everyone who contributed.”

For more information on Purdue Day of Giving and a list of the hourly-challenge and full-day-challenge winners, see DayofGiving.Purdue.edu

Contact: Lisa Tally, 765-494-2181, lhtally@prf.org  

Sources: Amy Noah, arnoah@prf.org 

\Mitch Daniels, president@purdue.edu 

Note to Journalists: A YouTube video is available at https://youtu.be/ZGIEvsdgQcY

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