On Tuesday, May 9, Sewanee hosted its first-ever one-day giving challenge—#TigerTuesday—and engaged the University family around the world. The event raised an unprecedented $643,285 for the Sewanee Fund from 1,943 generous donors.
“This historic event began thanks to the generosity of two alumni who came together to inspire the University family to support the Sewanee Fund,” said Whitney Franklin, director of the Sewanee Fund. “The donors offered to match the first $150,000 in gifts and to provide an additional $50,000 if at least 1,500 donors made a gift by the end of the day.”
The day began with a burst of energy in the form of early-morning emails and social media posts. As #TigerTuesday unfolded, the initial $150,000 match was secured by 1:30 p.m. and the 1,500 donor total was reached before 5:30 p.m. At mid-day, an anonymous donor offered another match—$50 per additional donor, up to $25,000, helping to push the participation total well past the 1,500 goal.
Laura "Mac" McIntyre, head field hockey and assistant women’s lacrosse coach, helped answer phones during the day. “It was a great experience to talk to former Tigers and current Tiger families. I heard from so many different people about their favorite experiences and memories from Sewanee,” said McIntyre. “There is something special about this place that connects all of us near and far.” (Story continues below the graphic.)
Members of the Sewanee family logged about 7,500 #TigerTuesday social interactions, and inspired each other through various social media channels by offering additional challenges. And alumni across the country reported monitoring the website, both to check progress toward the goals and to compare class standings. Donations came in from 48 states, as well as from Central America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
“We are grateful to the two challenge donors who launched #TigerTuesday for their extraordinary leadership in engaging and inspiring alumni, parents, students, and friends to make a gift to the Sewanee Fund,” said Vice-Chancellor John McCardell. “I was sure the Sewanee family would respond to their challenge—and I’m happy that my time in the tiger suit was worthwhile! We are thankful for all who participated, and the campus now heads into Commencement weekend on a very high note.”
As a part of Stronger Truer Sewanee—The Campaign for the University of the South, the Sewanee Fund defines and shapes the current student experience by providing support for institutional priorities, including financial aid, research and internship opportunities, the arts, and athletics. The extraordinary support generated by #TigerTuesday has placed the Sewanee Fund in good position to reach its goals by the end of the University’s fiscal year on June 30, 2017.
If you are interested in a gift that goes beyond current-use dollars, named endowed internship funds begin at the $100,000 level. Named endowed scholarship funds begin at the $150,000 level for the College and $75,000 for the School of Theology.