Last Tuesday, November 27, members of the Ursinus community including faculty, students, alumni, and friends gathered for the fifth annual #Giving2UCday on campus.
This is the school’s annual day of giving and gifting, which is coordinated with the global day of Giving Tuesday. Locations to donate, send gifts and write thank you cards were located in the Bear’s Den and the Floy Lewis Bakes Center Fieldhouse.
This year, the school’s one-day challenge was to achieve 1,700 members of the Ursinus community to make a gift of any size to the college.
Last year, Ursinus received 1,611 donations, which was the most in the event’s history. The donors raised $212,037.31.
Assistant Director of Annual Giving Colleen Fida said her office doesn’t have the final results of this year’s #Giving2UCday. However, preliminary results showed that the school exceeded the number of donors from last year, “making this the largest single day of giving ever! Final results will be reported soon, so stay tuned,” said Fida.
Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) and the Office of Advancement worked together for the event.
There were fun activities set up for the day including a 70-foot inflatable course and a human version of Hungry Hungry Hippos in the Fieldhouse, along with a prize wheel located in the Bears’ Den.
Around campus were five “Flat Zachies,” printouts of a bear encouraging students to say why they love Ursinus. Historically, Zachie was Ursinus’ only living bear mascot. The mascot was brought to campus by Robert Landis ’40 in 1939.
The introduction of Flat Zachie was modeled off of Flat Stanley, a paper doll character from a children’s book series from the nineties.
Fida stated UC alumni, students and friends were encouraged to take a selfie with Flat Zachie and share why they want to give back to Ursinus.
On social media, a donor map was shared for the first time, which highlighted how far and wide the Ursinus community reaches. Donors came from various states and even a few different countries.
Although the goal of the day is to encourage people to donate, showing support for and engagement with the college is also encouraged.
Junior and STAT member Samantha Beck discussed the importance of people simply giving back, not the amount of money they give.
“We’ve been encouraging them to donate by saying [things] like giving a gift that’s meaningful to them because it can be as low as a dollar because we just want them to feel like they’re giving back,” Beck said.
Gifts support Ursinus’ Annual Fund, which includes scholarships and financial aid, student and faculty research, and student life, as well as student services, administrative support and campus maintenance and beautification.
“The funds raised on #Giving2UCday of course fund important programs and initiatives on campus, but it’s also a symbolic day where thousands of people come together to say ‘we believe in Ursinus,’” said Fida.