April 27, 2023

Purdue Day of Giving thanks all donors for historic $110.8 million

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Boilermakers around the world celebrated the 10th Purdue Day of Giving, held Wednesday (April 26), by demonstrating their support to Purdue University’s campuses and programs — and raising a record $110.8 million in the process.

This year’s 24-hour online, social media-driven fundraising effort inspired 27,855 gifts, shattering last year’s results and bringing Purdue Day of Giving’s cumulative total since its launch in 2014 to $420.5 million. The new historic high followed last year’s record $68.2 million and 26,726 gifts. All gifts are donor directed to support the initiatives and programs they specify (see thank-you video).

giving-leap More than 3,000 students, faculty and staff took part in the Purdue Day of Giving on-campus celebration, which included a 20-foot-high stunt jump on the Memorial Mall. (Purdue for Life Foundation photo/Gerry Robiños) Download image

“Excellence at scale relies on the support from many. Thank you all for your extraordinary support that made this Purdue Day of Giving a truly historic one, with the milestone results of $110.8 million that shattered our single-day fundraising record by a margin even larger than we ever anticipated,” said Purdue President Mung Chiang. “It is an honor to represent the Purdue University system and thank the generous alumni, students, families, colleagues and organizations across the globe. I was particularly privileged to have the ‘investiture run’ and host a ‘community cookout’ on such a meaningful day for our university.” 

Purdue Day of Giving encompasses all of the university’s campuses — West Lafayette, Purdue Fort Wayne and Purdue Northwest — as well as Purdue Global.

Through 28 hourly challenges and six #IGave challenges, 81 academic and nonacademic programs competed for cash prizes. Gifts ranged from $10 to $20 million, supporting a range of programs and academic initiatives. Among the gifts made were:

  • Transformational gift from Thomas Howatt to support the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business.
  • $17 million from Jeannie and Jim Chaney to support scholarships in the College of Pharmacy.  
  • $10 million from William and Barbara Rakosnik in support of the School of Mechanical Engineering, the Department of Psychological Sciences and University Residences.
  • $1.2 million from Walter Gautschi, in memory of Erika Gautschi, for PhD student support in computational mathematics.
  • $250,000 from Willard Agri-Service to fund the renovation of the sixth-floor conference room in the Agricultural Economics Department.
  • $50,000 from Michelle Tucker and Darin Melnyk to support a scholarship endowment in the Brian Lamb School of Communication.
  • Major gift from Jennifer Crandall to support the Emerging Leaders Scholars program, a universitywide diversity initiative.
  • $10 from Ata Tamer, president of the Turkish Student Association, to support the organization.

Also, thanks to a leadership-level gift from Drew and Brittany Brees, 356 donors at three different giving levels to the new Tiller Tunnel initiative had their donation matched and will be publicly recognized on the wall at the entrance to this future enhancement of Ross-Ade Stadium.

“Once again, Boilermakers have shown their Purdue pride by setting another record for dollars raised through a higher education day of giving,” said Matt Folk, president and CEO of the Purdue for Life Foundation and vice president of university advancement and alumni engagement for Purdue University. “The accomplishments of Purdue’s students, faculty and staff are only possible through the loyal support of our alumni, friends, fans and community members. Thank you to everyone who participated in Purdue Day of Giving, whether it was by making a gift or sharing your Purdue pride with others. Because of your generosity, Purdue is positioned to take its next giant leap.”


In addition to a day of generosity, it was also a day of celebrations in West Lafayette. Students, faculty and staff enjoyed an evening event that featured “Giant Adventures” — a 20-foot-high stunt jump, zorb wars and an inflatable corn maze — as well as lawn games, a 360-degree photo booth, food trucks and more.

Earlier in the day, a campuswide relay run featured student organizations and Purdue celebrities, including Purdue Pete, the Boilermaker Special and President Chiang, who ran the last leg of the relay along with students, faculty and staff.

To view the Purdue Day of Giving thank-you video as well as hourly-challenge and full-day-challenge winners, visit dayofgiving.purdue.edu

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last five years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://stories.purdue.edu

About the Purdue for Life Foundation

The Purdue for Life Foundation helps friends and alumni of Purdue University stay connected, get involved and give back. Created on March 11, 2020, the foundation deepens alumni ties to Purdue, drives and coordinates all alumni-related activities across the Purdue family’s postgraduation lives and works with alumni and friends to garner support for the university. The foundation combines the alumni engagement function of the Purdue Alumni Association and the University Development Office, and it includes President’s Council, the John Purdue Club and the Office of Industry Partnerships, as well as alumni lifelong learning programs and on-campus residential opportunities. Learn more at https://purdueforlife.org/.

Writer: Steve Schlenk

Media contact: Derek Schultz, dcschultz@purdue.edu 

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