With a record-setting number of gifts on April 10’s LovEMU Giving Day, Eastern Mennonite University donors helped students access valuable courses, get to know caring professors, go on their cross-cultural and enjoy a transformative higher education experience.
More than $115,210 was given from 731 gifts during the 24-hour period — and givers were also generous in their reasons why they donated. A few students among the record number of student participants wrote the following:
- I love EMU because it has molded me into the person I am.
- EMU helps you grow as an entire person and embrace who God wants you to become.
- I love that I get to play basketball but still focus on academics and the future!
- I love the atmosphere of home, hospitality and care for everyone!
Attendance was big at several reunion events around the country, as well. Jeff Shank ’94, director of alumni and parent relations, said the day not only helped support EMU’s future and its students but also helped to build strong connections between EMU alumni and the EMU community. “We had 156 alumni attend six events in four states, including Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio. At the Harrisonburg event, Doug Alderfer ‘92 talked about feeling a lot of pride when he looked around the room and saw so many good people doing good work in his community. I know others experienced similar feelings.”
The number of givers exceeded goals in several of the challenges. Target goals of 50 were met quickly during
- the Lunch Hour Challenge (87),
- the Parent/Grandparent Challenge (98),
- the Faculty and Staff Challenge (85) and
- the Sweetheart Challenge (54).
The Alumni Challenge also logged 320 gifts to an anticipated total of 300.
With each donation, donors were prompted to vote for an academic department, athletics program and student club. Top vote-earners were awarded $500. Winners were the education department, field hockey and the Black Student Union.
Next year, look for the 50-state challenge to return. The $5,000 gift went unclaimed. Do you know someone (anyone!) in Wyoming, Nevada, North Dakota and Utah? We’re also looking for supporters of EMU in Alabama, New Hampshire and Rhode Island so that we can unlock the $5,000 challenge.
Big Crowdfunding Support!
The event was also record-setting in another way, said Vice President for Advancement Kirk Shisler ’81. “That EMU is truly a place of inspiration and vision has just recently been affirmed to us all. Inside of one month, approximately 1,000 alumni and friends have raised nearly $230,000 in support of LovEMU Giving Day — and for the MJ Sharp Peace and Justice Endowed Scholarship through the incredible MJ Sharp Dream Hike to the top of Kilimanjaro that gained worldwide attention.”