Lehigh University Athletics and Lehigh Development and Alumni Relations have combined their annual giving day challenges into one: Giving Day + March Mania. This combined campaign will span two days over March 26-27 and retain the best aspects of both challenges.
“One of the goals arising from Lehigh’s strategic plan, Inspiring the Future Makers, is to ‘make it together.’” We felt now was the perfect time to illustrate the power of that plan, synchronize efforts, and launch a combined challenge that supports all aspects of Lehigh,” says Jennifer Cunningham ’28P, associate vice president, Alumni Relations.
Last year, the two giving events inspired 3,469 people to give more than $1.8 million. Highlights included a challenge from the Women of the Board of Trustees that unlocked $250,000, the largest challenge in the history of the Giving Day event.
In athletics, sport-specific and The Dean’s Fund for Athletic Excellence matches netted an additional $300,000 of funding. The event set a record for number of donors and surpassed $1 million.
“Over the years, our March Mania challenges have activated many members of the Lehigh community, including alumni, athletes, fans, parents, families, staff, students, and friends of the university,” says Joe Sterrett ’76 ’78G ’03P ’05P ’07P ’09P, the Murray H. Goodman Dean of Athletics. “We are excited by what we might accomplish together thanks to the collective strength of our spirited alumni.”
March Mania began in 2015 and was paired with the excitement and energy from the NCAA basketball tournament. Monies raised provide budgetary dollars to help teams compete for championships and the Athletics Department operate a program of distinction year after year.
Giving Day, in its seventh year, leverages challenges and matches across colleges, departments, and a variety of alumni groups and professional networks. Students will have the opportunity to help highlight Giving Day + March Mania and learn about how philanthropy impacts their experiences on campus.
While the combined challenge will share a new single fundraising website, many aspects from previous years will remain unchanged. Athletes will still be able to support a specific sport and The Dean’s Fund for Athletics Excellence and compete against other alumni athletes. Special days that have kicked off the events for years will continue.
“Across the combined fundraising platform, alumni will see many programs at Lehigh that are meaningful to them, and they will be able to support a wide variety,” says Cunningham.
“We rely on our alumni for their support, which comes in so many forms, whether cheering at games, networking with students, funding scholarships, or co-creating initiatives that drive the university forward,” says Sterrett. “Giving Day + March Mania is often that entry point — the place where those activities receive the support needed to become a reality and make Lehigh stronger. We are excited to see how the Lehigh community rises to this combined challenge.”
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GO Beyond: The Campaign For Future Makers
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