By Max McKee, Chief Copy Editor
“On Valentine’s Day, if 4,000 alumni, parents, students, and members of the campus make a gift, Holy Cross will receive $1 million.” That is the challenge issued this year for the “I Love HC” giving event, which takes place on Tuesday, February 14. The departments of Advancement, College Marketing and Communications, Dining, Office of Student Involvement (OSI), and Athletics have come together to host the event. Holy Cross will once again partner with GiveCampus, a digital fundraising platform that institutions are increasingly turning to for crowdfunding events such as this.
For the 2016 drive, a group of alumni from the Class of ’82 pledged to donate $500,000 if the College received a gift from 2,500 donors, a goal that was surpassed in just five hours (the total number of donors reached 6,226). Donors contributed $1.94 million in total, and the inaugural Give Purple drive received coverage from outlets such as The Washington Post.
With last year being such an overwhelming success, surpassing the record number of donors at this year’s event will prove even more difficult. This year’s alumni pledge of $1 million, however, will hopefully drive more Crusaders to give back, and within a shorter time frame, too—as opposed to the 43-hour event last year, this year’s drive will only last 24 hours.
To kick things off, on February 13th there will be a free Valentine’s Day-themed midnight breakfast in the Hogan ballroom beginning at 10:30 p.m., the first opportunity for students to make gifts. There will also be “Challenge” giving stations around campus on the day of the event in Hogan (1st floor, 8 a.m.—10 p.m.), Kimball (11 a.m.—2p.m. and 5:00—8:00 p.m.), the Science Café (11 a.m.—2 p.m.) where students can make their gifts. The drive will conclude with a special Senior Class Gift event at the Pub at 9 p.m. The online event ends at midnight.
For Holy Cross, giving back is important for both its practical purpose and the message behind it. Many programs, including athletics, rely on this support for their continued success (last year, 100% of senior athletes made a gift). The participation of alumni represents a significant measure of satisfaction, too, and figures into the college’s rankings on lists such as US News & World Report. Holy Cross regularly sees over half of its alumni participate in giving, a figure that places it in the top ten among all colleges and universities across the nation.
According to Vice President for Advancement Tracy Barlok, I Love HC “is as much about donors as it is about dollars.” For her, the event represents just one instance where students and alumni learn to come together to “celebrate the passion” of the Holy Cross community, see how their participation can contribute to something enormous, and have fun doing it. Student giving represents a ringing endorsement of the College to its alumni and greater community, and instills the message that its continued thriving is incumbent on all of us.
For alumni, their giving back is an acknowledgement of the opportunities they received while at the College that led to their current success. For students, it is an investment in the future, a way of improving the opportunities of Holy Cross students for many generations to come.
Support the challenge by making your own gift, volunteering, becoming an Advocate, making calls, or volunteering on campus. And use your social media accounts to share your involvement! You can change your Facebook profile picture, Tweet, or post a photo on Instagram, using the hashtag #ILoveHC—any way to show your support and spread the message to friends, family, or alumni who may not know of the one-day event. Gifts of any size are encouraged; what matters is the participation. If you’d like to get involved with the Challenge, please contact Shannon Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 3783. Visit holycross.edu/alumni/ilovehc for more information and resources as the event approaches.