Bulldog Blog

News and Views from the University of Redlands

U of R raises nearly $250,000 on its first Giving Day

Members of newly forming fraternity Gamma Delta Pho successfully unlock a Giving Day challenge by reciting the Och Tamale chant. (Photo by Coco McKown ’04, ’10)

On April 4, the University of Redlands celebrated its first-ever Giving Day.

“I’d like to personally thank everyone who pitched in to make our inaugural Giving Day a phenomenal success,” says Tamara Michel Josserand, vice president for advancement. “Bulldogs in 41 states and four countries (including Canada, Spain, and Germany) came together to make a big impact in a small amount of time.”

When the numbers were done and tallied, 1,516 Giving Day donors—including 657 first-time donors and 118 student donors—raised $247,418 dollars and supported 141 Redlands funds.

Enhancing the effort

Assisting in the Giving Day effort were 174 ambassadors who used email and social media to help spread the message through their personal networks.

“Not only did I have the chance to help raise funds for our school, the day provided the opportunity to reconnect with my fellow grads over social media through our shared and collective love of Redlands,” says ambassador Teal Conroy ’00. “Giving Day was filled with lots of nostalgia, friendly competitive vibes, and tons of fun for an important purpose!”

Also spurring the day’s success were 27 challenges and matches, which provided an opportunity to make an even bigger impact with a single gift.

In response to one challenge, 36 student donors gave $5 each, then successfully recited the Och Tamale chant at Hunsaker Plaza. As a result, these students secured an additional $45 contribution to the funds of their choice, thanks to the support of Char Gaylord Burgess ’69, ’70 and Shelli Stockton.

In an even more stunning feat, four student donors recited the Och Tamale backward, unlocking a total of $4,000 for Women’s Soccer, Women’s Lacrosse, community service and social justice sisterhood Wadada Wa Rangi Wengi (WRW), fraternity Chi Rho Psi, and Christian student group Young Life. This fun challenge was made possible by Jim Schroeder ’65 and Althea Schroeder.

All in all, Bulldogs unlocked $44,315 from challenges and matches.

Popular funds

During Giving Day, donors were encouraged to support the specific areas within the University community that fueled their passion.

Bulldog Athletics was a popular area of giving, with 750 gifts providing $75,102 for this area. The top three teams on the leaderboard were men’s soccer (125 gifts), women’s soccer (98 gifts), and women’s volleyball (82 gifts).

For the Greek community, 388 gifts raised $23,066. The most highly supported organizations in the drive were Beta Lambda (100 gifts), Alpha Theta Phi (63 gifts), and Chi Sigma Chi (47 gifts).

In the next chapter of a long-distance love affair playing out on Twitter, Butler Blue III (a.k.a. Trip), the live mascot of Butler University, worked with his handler to make a special gift in U of R mascot Addie’s honor. This contribution to the Mascot Fund on Giving Day was an early birthday present to his “love,” who celebrated her second birthday on April 5.

Donors have shared their reasons for giving back, which often tie back to their personal experiences with the University. “Giving Day was the perfect opportunity for me and my husband to make our first gift to Redlands,” shares Sarah Griffin ’19, who recently earned her master’s in business administration with an emphasis in marketing management. “My son, Jacob ’21, is able to attend the University’s 3-2 engineering program because of a scholarship made possible by generous donors, and we wanted to do our part to support scholarships for other students, too.”

While Giving Day is over for the year, gifts of all amounts still count toward the Forever Yours campaign. Visit foreveryours.redlands.edu to make your campaign gift, or, if you have questions, contact Molly Widdicombe, director of annual giving, at molly_widdicombe@redlands.edu or 909-748-8381.