With two hours and 13 minutes of Tuesday’s LovEMU Giving Day remaining on the clock, Advancement Associate Director Braydon Hoover ’11 took to the social media airwaves to exhort the faithful.
The video captures the moment in the mostly deserted Campus Center: Hoover possesses a charmingly rumpled look after a long day of fundraising: notably, his signature bowtie is missing, but traces of his normal sartorial elegance still remain, visible in the collar and tails of his white dress shirt under his LovEMU t-shirt.
“With just two challenges left to meet,” he says, “we are counting on you to make EMU’s future bright and sustainable — and thank you for loving EMU!”
When the clock struck midnight, those challenges had been met.
In a historic day that marked an outpouring of love for EMU from across the country and around the world, the second annual one-day fundraising campaign resulted in a record total of $119,232 and 681 gifts. [The above video was filmed before other donations, which came in between midnight and noon today, were added to the total.]
Both tallies exceeded 2017 numbers.
“Our participation was outstanding and the entire day an affirmation and celebration of this special place and everyone connected to it,” said Jeff Shank, director of alumni and parent relations. “From alumni gatherings to the excitement on campus and on social media, our community truly came together to support EMU’s important educational mission.”
Donations grow, and grow, and grow…
All six challenges exceeded participation goals, as alumni, parents and grandparents, faculty and staff, trustees, Centennial givers, and sweethearts who met at EMU helped to unlock matching gifts.
Several anonymous generous donors, as well as President Susan Schultz Huxman and Provost Fred Kniss, offered to match gifts if various goals were met by certain groups, including current and former board of trustee members (36 participated), faculty and staff (81 participated), parents and grandparents (123 participated).
At eight evening gatherings in four states and Washington D.C., approximately 220 alumni and their families reconnected around the digital leaderboards, watching the donations grow as the night went on.
EMU at Lancaster made the occasion even more historic, hosting an alumni event at the Lancaster Airport terminal to coincide with the announcement of their new aviation program – the first collegiate 4-year degree program in the region.
Business, volleyball, first-years win votes
With a format that encouraged competition and “showing the love” for a certain “beloved” academic or athletic program and class, competition for “votes” went late into the evening.
Business and economics narrowly squeezed out reigning champion education 73-71. Psychology finished third with 47 votes.
The competition was tight on the athletics side, with women’s volleyball team successfully defending their title, garnering 150 votes to 146 votes of new challenger field hockey.
And in a major upset, EMU’s first-year class upset the seniors 125-117.
A sampling of the LOVE
Here’s just a few of the comments from generous contributors, when asked to share what they love about EMU:
- The extended community that knows no boundaries.
- The small class sizes where I felt like I really got to know my professors and still keep in contact with some.
- Without a doubt, EMU changed my life. From cross-cultural experience, meeting the love of my life and receiving an incredibly holistic education, I cannot thank EMU enough…
- Professors who have changed my children’s lives.
- Spiritual growth opportunities and mentoring.
- Demonstrating a commitment to the worldwide community.
- I love Coach Stick and her field hockey ladies!
- The friendships I made at EMU are priceless…many of my core values and lifestyle habits were formed during my years there.
- We built lifelong friendships. Father and daughter both experienced the Middle East cross cultural 27 years apart.
- The alumni I have met: great people and representatives of EMU.
- It’s inspiring. Every time we visit, we are so happy our daughter decided EMU was the university for her.
- EMU is a launching pad, a place to come home to, a flickering and constant place where I first learned how to take risks, recognize and create beauty, try my hand at leadership, and learn how to follow God with grown-up eyes and hands.