Donors make history on record-breaking Elon Day

On March 13, donors made 5,370 gifts raising $1,840,378 to achieve the most successful Elon Day celebration to date.

The Elon community around the world came together March 13 to support the university in honor of Elon Day, contributing 5,370 gifts and raising $1,840,378 to support students, scholarships, athletics and academic programs. The day’s totals surpassed each previous Elon Day celebration to become the single-greatest day of giving in the university’s history.

>> See some of the #ElonDay photos shared on social media 

Engagement on social media also hit a peak, with people around the world showing their pride using #ElonDay. The combined giving between alumni, parents and grandparents was a key factor in the day’s success, with 57 percent of gifts coming from Elon graduates and 26 percent from parents and grandparents.

“Elon Day’s momentum and impact has grown year after year, and the driving force of that growth is the engagement of the entire Elon community,” said John H. Barnhill ’92, assistant vice president for university advancement. “The goals are ambitious, but each gift demonstrates the belief that our partners, advocates and investors have in the university. Elon Day’s continued success exemplifies what can happen when we come together to make a difference for our Elon.”

The day started with a $100,000 scholarship challenge sponsored by the Elon Alumni Board, which called for Elon Day donors to reach 1,250 gifts before the university’s College Coffee at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

At College Coffee, Elon Trustee Jeanne Robertson P’89 GP’17 announced the “Join Jeanne” match, which matched dollar for dollar gifts to any athletics designation up to $100,000. Also announced at College Coffee was the “Our Elon” match from Stephen and Susie Paneyko P’20 and several anonymous donors, which matched dollar for dollar gifts to the Elon Greatest Need’s fund.

This momentum led to the Midday Scholarship Challenge sponsored by Rob and Lisa Heaton P’16 P’18, Alan and Susan Tivoli P’21, and Mike and Marjorie Brennan P’19. This challenge called for donors to reach 2,705 gifts by 5 p.m. to secure three new scholarships worth a combined $250,000.

The final challenge, sponsored by the Robert and Mary Cobb Family Foundation, called for donors to reach 5,000 gifts by midnight to unlock a new $500,000 Odyssey Program Scholarship. Donors successfully completed every challenge of the day, surpassing the final goal of 5,000 by 370 gifts.

​In addition to College Coffee, on-campus events included a Senior Toast for the Class of 2018 and an Elon Day All-Student Party later in the evening. In total, three events on campus and 43 alumni chapter events around the world drew more than 3,880 attendees.

The following donors generously sponsored Elon Day giving challenges and matches:

  • Elon Trustee Jeanne Robertson and husband Jerry Robertson P’89 GP’17
  • Robert and Mary Cobb Family Foundation
  • Elon Alumni Board
  • Rob and Lisa Heaton P’16 P’18
  • Alan and Susan Tivoli P’21
  • Mike and Marjorie Brennan P’19
  • Stephen and Susie Paneyko P’20
  • Jill Rose ’00 and T.J. Rose ’00
  • Shawn and Robbie Ellsworth P’20
  • Josh McIntosh ’97
  • John and Theresa Soffronoff P’19

Learn more about this year’s historic day of giving at