College Celebrates 175 Years of Difference Makers with Annual Giving Challenge

Caroline Ahearn ’20

Chief News Editor 

At 6 a.m. on Friday, January 26, Holy Cross kicked off its annual giving challenge to raise money for the Holy Cross Fund, the Crusader Athletic Fund, as well as  specific initiatives such as the Bishop Healy Emergency Fund, the LGBTQ+ Leadership Fund, the Holy Cross Choir Tour Gift Fund the Collegiate Recovery Fund, the O’Callahan Society or other allocations designated by the donor. This year, however, the challenge came with a bit of a twist. In collaboration with the College’s year-long celebration of the 175th anniversary, this year’s challenge lasted 1.75 days, and celebrated “175 Years of Holy Cross Difference Makers.”

“By tying in with our year-long celebration of the 175th anniversary of the founding of Holy Cross, we wanted to remind our community of our storied history and the amazing alumni who have come before us,” said Nicoleta Jordan, Assistant Director of Media Relations for the College. “Our intention was to celebrate that for 175 years Holy Cross has devoted itself to transforming lives in the hope of transforming the world.”

Donors submitted their photos with the #HolyCross175 to be included in the Fenwick Hall mosaic. Photo courtesy of the College of the Holy Cross.

Throughout the weekend, members of the Holy Cross community donated in record numbers, honoring the impact of decades and decades of “Difference Makers” as their stories were shared on social media. Though there was no specific financial or participation goal this year, the challenge was instead structured to encourage as much participation as possible, promising that for every 1,000 donations the College received, an additional $250,000 would be donated by a generous group of alumni and parents.

With these structures in place, the College raised a total of $2,656,772 from 6,342 donors. Sixty-eight percent of these funds will support the Holy Cross Fund, which directly provides 5.2 percent of the total operating budget, supporting academic initiatives, financial aid, faith programs, athletics, arts, student life, sustainability, and more. Twenty-four percent of the funds will support the Crusader Athletics Fund, raising unrestricted support for the College’s 27 varsity athletics programs. The remaining eight percent will go toward specific initiatives designated by the donor.

In addition to breaking its own records for donors and money raised, Holy Cross also broke the GiveCampus record for number of donors on a campaign by a liberal arts college in a short-term giving challenge, lasting no more than 48 hours.

“Once again, we are overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity and participation of the Holy Cross community,” said Tracy Barlok, vice president for advancement. “This community continues to support the mission of this special College in remarkable ways. We are grateful beyond words for their love, loyalty, generosity and enthusiasm. For 175 years, Holy Cross has been changing lives. With the help of our impassioned benefactors and advocates, we are poised to write the next chapter in our history.”

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