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Campus & Community

In the Giving Spirit

24-Hour Annual Fundraising Marathon Brings in $1.6M for Scholarships, Athletics, Campus Units, More

By Sala Levin ’10

Students take a selfie on Giving Day with sign that reads, "I Support UMD!"

Photo by Stephanie S. Cordle

Members of the Gemstone Honors Program, Matt Hamers '21 (left), Ria Sebastian '21, Justin Hughes '22, Divya Kapoor '21 and Haley Mullen '20, take a "shellfie" on McKeldin Mall on Wednesday.

Motivated by matching gifts and a series of social media challenges, the seventh annual Giving Day on Wednesday raised $1,639,139 to support more than two dozen University of Maryland programs and initiatives.

A total of 7,299 alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends of the university banded together during the 24-hour fundraising marathon to boost scholarships like the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise and the Keep Me Maryland Fund; colleges, schools and departments across campus; athletics; student groups; and more.

Athletics was at the top of the heap in terms of dollars raised, with $282,803. Second was the Office of Undergraduate Studies at $100,235. 

William A. Cohen, associate provost and dean of the Office of Undergraduate Studies, credited the unit’s success to the close-knit relationships that students form in its living-learning programs and other communities.

“They study and live together in the Honors College, College Park Scholars and Carillon Communities. They develop strong connections in mentorship, scholarship and specialized study programs such as Asian American Studies and the Incentive Awards Program,” he said. “We are proud that those lasting bonds that our students form as undergraduates translate into engaged alumni who want to give back to their university.”

Undergraduate Studies also led in individual gifts—1,305—followed by the Division of Student Affairs at 649. Both upped their number of individual donors from 2019, with an increase of 21% for Undergraduate Studies and 10% for Student Affairs.

Matching pledges of $50,000 each from the Clarvit and Schwab families and $10,000 from President Wallace D. Loh and his family bolstered gifts made throughout the day. 

A social media challenge that asked users to post selfies with the hashtag “#shellfie” or tweets and Facebook posts with “#GivingDayUMD” also garnered extra dollars for randomly chosen units or programs. 

Since its launch in 2013, Giving Day has raised more than $8 million from the UMD community.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.