LAWRENCE — One gift at a time, friends and alumni of the University of Kansas added to the success of the second annual One Day. One KU., donating $1,084,062 with 2,635 gifts in 24 hours to support the university.
The Feb. 20 day of giving topped last year’s totals: 1,898 gifts that raised $734,621 in donations.
“Donors believe in the work being done at KU to enrich students’ lives, serve Kansas communities and enhance the university’s status among the nation’s leading research institutions,” Chancellor Douglas A. Girod said. “KU is truly grateful for the generosity of friends and alumni during the One Day. One KU. campaign.”
Before the giving day, donors established matching and challenge gifts to help spur donations from every facet of the KU community during the 24-hour period.
Each match or challenge had its own special purpose or meaning, such as one from the School of Engineering. In fiscal year 2018, the School of Engineering awarded 723 undergraduate and graduate degrees and 32 doctoral degrees. Dean Arvin Agah offered to contribute $723 if One Day. One KU. garnered 32 gifts to the School of Engineering — a challenge that was met successfully.
“It’s extremely gratifying that we surpassed last year’s impressive results in terms of the total amount contributed and the number of gifts,” said Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment. “Jayhawks came together on this day to show the importance of supporting our great university. Every dollar counted in making the second One Day. One KU. a huge success.”
Gifts came in all sizes and with layers of meaning. Parents gave gifts to honor their children, and alumni made donations to honor and memorialize professors who made a difference in their lives. KU followers on Instagram voted on photos of KU supporters; winner Donovan Miller, a drummer, gave his $250 prize to the KU Jazz Studies Program. “They have done so much for me, so that’s where I'd like to send my donation,” Miller said on Instagram.
The first gift came from William Conlin of Santa Barbara, California. “Aside from the fact that my grandparents both were born in Kansas, I believe education is universal. It was my great honor to support KU as it continues to engage and inspire young minds,” Conlin said.
KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.