November 20, 2020 : By Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Throughout Tuesday, Nov. 17, Liberty University held its first “Giving Day,” an all-day fundraising drive uniting academic departments, athletics programs, and student scholarships in the goal of making an impact on current and future generations of Champions for Christ. While giving has been a vital part of Liberty’s history since its founding in 1971, Tuesday marked the first time that it was organized and promoted on such a large scale.
By the end of the day, the overall total reached $2,003,975 received from 6,064 members of the Liberty family living around the world. The money will fund over 100 campaign initiatives across campus.
Liberty’s Vice President of University and Athletic Development, Jim Nichols, said that Giving Day will become an annual occurrence.
“The response to Giving Day for Liberty was so great this year, and we want to keep that momentum going and make sure everyone has a chance to take part every year,” Nichols said. “Even in these challenging times, a record number of our own stepped up to show their support for Liberty University. Flames Nation is strong and will only get stronger in years to come.”
“We are so blessed by the Liberty community, in both their generosity and the energy they put forward on Giving Day,” added Associate Athletic Director and Executive Director of Development Mike Hagen. “The response from our donors — alumni, faculty, staff, the parents of current, past, and future students — was overwhelming. We are truly honored to see so many investing in the lives of our students, academics, and ministry.”
Students also had the chance to participate in Giving Day through some fun events. Golf carts circled the campus in the style of the television game show “Cash Cab” and quizzed students on Liberty trivia. Prizes were “Liberty Dollars” that could be turned in to donate to a campaign of the student’s choice. The donation tables set up around campus also gave out Liberty Dollars to students who solved problems or answered quiz questions.
Students who donated were also given special stickers stating “I chose to fuel the fire” and were able to ride around campus on “Thank You Mobiles,” specially-marked golf carts driven by members of Liberty’s academic and athletics staff.
The top three academic departments receiving donations during Giving Day were the School of Business, School of Law, and School of Nursing. They received bonus gifts of $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000, respectively.
The softball team led all of Liberty’s 20 NCAA I athletics programs with 1,131 total gifts, which unlocked a $10,000 bonus gift to the team’s annual Excellence Fund. The men’s golf program finished the 24-hour period with the most money raised ($166,895), including an anonymous gift of $150,000. Additionally, the volleyball program unlocked a $20,000 gift to its Excellence Fund with 66 total donations. The track & field/cross country programs earned an $8,000 Excellence Fund gift with 160 total donations. (Read the full Giving Day release from Athletics.)
Director of Alumni Relations Giuseppe Cucci recognized Liberty’s alumni for the special role they are still playing at Liberty.
“I am thankful and humbled by the generosity of our alumni and friends as they help us continue Training Champions for Christ. The impact they are making on our students will span generations to come, and I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for them.”
“Liberty Law’s alumni, faculty, friends, staff and students answered the call to support the law school in a very meaningful way,” said Dean Dr. Keith Faulkner. “We are incredibly thankful for the outpouring of generous donations. These gifts allow Liberty Law School to continue our mission and to help our graduates to inspire the profession, innovate the practice, and impact the world.”
Liberty University School of Business Dean Dr. Dave Brat also shared his appreciation.
“The teamwork between Development and our alumni is kicking into high gear,” he said. “Many very successful alums have been coming back to speak and share with students, and that inspires them! They are masters in their own fields and they share best practices and then give the state-of-the-art technical and capital gifts that will make our students competitive anywhere God puts them.”