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Donors make March 8 a banner day for Elon

The third annual #ElonDay celebration raised $955,099 from 3,749 gifts, making it the single greatest day of giving in Elon’s history.

The worldwide Elon community came together in an incredible show of support for the university on March 8, contributing 3,749 gifts and $955,099 to support students, scholarships, athletics and faculty and staff—the single greatest day of giving in Elon’s history.

Engagement on social media also hit a peak, reaching more than 4,500 mentions on various channels during a 24-hour celebration that called for the university community to make Tuesday "a banner day for Elon." 

Alumni giving was a key factor in the day’s success, with 60 percent of gifts coming from Elon graduates, while all gifts of $50 and under comprised 70 percent of total Elon Day contributions.

“Elon Day reflects what we can achieve when the entire Elon community comes together for a common purpose,” said John H. Barnhill ’92, assistant vice president for university advancement. “In one day, our donors created a legacy of support that will make a difference in the experiences of every student on our campus. Their gifts provide critical funds for scholarships, academic schools, athletic programs and much more, and we are truly grateful for their support.”

The Elon Alumni Board started the #ElonDay celebration with the $100,000 Champion Challenge, which called for Elon Day champions, a group of alumni and parents, to help secure 500 gifts before the university’s College Coffee at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday. After successfully completing that challenge, the $100,000 Raise the Banner Match, sponsored by The Brightwater Fund and the Jarecki Family Foundation, was announced and promised to double all gifts to the university up to $100,000 immediately following College Coffee.

The incredible response to the day’s momentum sparked the $30,000 Kleiman Mid-Day Challenge during which Elon parents, Gary and Roberta Kleiman P’17, challenged the Elon community to reach 1,750 gifts by 3:30 p.m. In addition, Elon University Trustee Dave Porter P’11 P’19 and the Young Alumni Council offered incentives of their own to encourage participation within two targeted groups. Porter provided $25,000 to match all gifts from donors in his home state of Massachusetts while the Young Alumni Council challenged the class of 2015 to set a new record for most gifts from one class in a day. The class met the challenge with 194 gifts, beating the previous record of 171 and securing a $2,015 gift to Elon from the council in honor of their graduation year. 

The day’s final push came from Elon University Trustee Cindy Citrone P’17 and Rob Citrone P’17 as part of the $250,000 Citrone Midnight Challenge. For the second year in a row, the Citrones pledged $250,000 in matching funds if 3,703 gifts were made by midnight—1,000 more gifts than the record set during #ElonDay 2015. At the stroke of midnight, the daylong celebration came to a close and the Elon community successfully completed and surpassed each challenge of the day.

Throughout the day, the Elon community used the hashtag #ElonDay to share their photos on social media.

On-campus events included A Toast for Elon event for seniors and an #ElonDay Student Party later in the evening in addition to the morning College Coffee held on Scott Plaza. Elon Law also hosted #ElonDay events on the Greensboro campus.

In addition, hundreds of alumni participated in the regional events hosted by the university’s regional alumni chapters and clubs. The events took place in 37 cities spanning the globe from London to Los Angeles.

-Story written by Megan McClure and Kara Nunnally, University Advancement

Keren Rivas,
3/9/2016 4:30 PM