Willamette community raises over $200k

by University Communications,

What did WU do in 24 hours?

More than 1,244 people gave over $128,000 — combined with $81,000 in matching gifts — totaling nearly $210,000 during Willamette’s inaugural “24 Hours of Giving” event held February 17.

The surprise event launched via an online video sent in an e-mail to Willamette alumni and friends at midnight. The note also kicked off a $50,000 matching challenge from two trustees.

Students, staff and faculty were greeted in the morning with special signage on lampposts around campus, a banner covering the Jackson Plaza clock tower and even coffee sleeves at the Bistro.

By 11 a.m. the Willamette community had raised over $25,000, meeting the match and reaching the halfway point to the goal of $50,000.

But the fun didn’t stop there.

As the day continued, a few donors called into the 24 Hours of Giving hotline. Some were even lucky enough to speak with celebrity callers, including professor emeritus Frances Chapple, Teresa Hudkins ’69, Jim Booth ’64 and President Steve Thorsett.

By 3 p.m., over $50,000 was raised, unlocking another giving challenge. If 350 donors gave by midnight, another trustee would give an additional $25,000 to Willamette.

On campus, student callers were doing their part by reaching out to the Bearcat community by phone, while parents, alumni, friends and fans posted about the day on various social networks.

By 7 p.m., the goal of 350 donors was reached and giving exceeded $75,000. But there was one final challenge to unlock: if 600 people gave by midnight, the Alumni Association Board of Directors would give an extra $6,000 to Willamette.

That goal was easily exceeded by midnight and a new record was set for one-day giving at Willamette.

“We were truly impressed by the generosity of the Willamette community and the incredible support shown by all Bearcats: students, alumni, faculty and staff,” said Dennis Bergvall, Vice President for Advancement. “On behalf of students, staff and faculty on campus, thank you!”

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It’s never too late to support Willamette students. If you didn’t have an opportunity to make your gift on Feb. 17, you can still be part of our winning team of donors when you make a gift now. The generosity of donors benefits current students, faculty and staff and enhances the Willamette experience for all.