Giving Day Raises $842,430

From noon to noon between April 3 and April 4, Sacred Heart University held its annual Giving Day celebration.

“SHU Giving Day is a special opportunity for our community to come together, show their Pioneer pride, and support the areas at Sacred Heart that mean the most to them,” said Julia Olsen, Director of Annual Giving and Donor Engagement.

According to the university website, “Giving days are a great opportunity to engage with SHU’s audience in a way that is dynamic and can tell the University’s unique story.”

“The act of charity – or love for one’s neighbor – is a core principle of Catholic teaching. Giving Day encourages Pioneers to engage with this tradition in a way that both directly supports the members of our community as well as the University that has served as a steward of the broader Catholic Intellectual Tradition,” Olsen said.

Focused on increasing student and alumni engagement, SHU Giving Day highlights various programs and university initiatives on campus.

“To have a celebration of all things SHU; exciting to see the culture of philanthropy and impact building at our beloved Sacred Heart University. A great statement of pioneer pride,” said Paul Sutera, Senior Vice President of University advancement.

Throughout April 3 and 4, different events were scheduled across campus where donors could make donations and have access to food, games, SHU merch, and more.

Food items ranging from Crumbl Cookies, Playa Bowls, and Pizza combined with the chance to get various SHU items such as water bottles and shirts, created a unique and dynamic experience for the campus community to engage during Giving Day.

Combined with the on-campus activities, the efforts by different clubs and organizations also helped increase awareness about the initiative.

“The figure skating team decided to implement a social media challenge on Instagram to encourage donations. We posted a ‘bingo sheet’ type graphic, with each dollar amount corresponding to a different challenge. As the money amount increased the challenges got sillier,” said graduate student and social media chair of the club figure skating team, Elise Jolie.

“I kept updating the Instagram with our progress throughout giving day and our challenges being completed and it was a lot of fun. We’ve never raised that much money before from Giving Day, so it was a success,” Jolie said.

The money donated to the figure skating club will be used for competition fees, travel expenses, ice time, and team apparel.

“From supporting student scholarships, championing athletic teams, inspiring musical and theatrical performances and promoting faculty development and more, each investment helps enhance the Pioneer Journey for current and future students,” Olsen said.

This year, from alumni, students, faculty, and other members of the SHU community, Sacred Heart was able to raise $842,430. According to the university website, donations raised will help with scholarships and programming that will benefit over 100 areas across the university.

“Giving Day is not just about raising money for the team. It is about our support system engaging in the overall success of the program. We had more involvement this year than ever before. That to me is more important than the money. The support of our Alumni, Families, and Friends of the program is the ultimate goal for these types of events,” said Jon Basti, Head Coach of the SHU Men’s Lacrosse Team.

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