During UCA’s 6th annual Day of Giving on March 5, the university raised a record $1,126,580, making it the first university in Arkansas to surpass the $1 million mark in the 24-hour fundraising drive. The number was a 49 percent increase over the previous year’s total.
UCA President Houston Davis announced the total number at the university’s post-Day of Giving celebration on March 6, which featured UCA cheerleaders and UCA band as well as a cookout with food provided by Centennial Bank and grilled by UCA Athletic department.
“One thing I love about our university is we have no fear of being first — first in Arkansas over the $1 million mark on Day of Giving is a remarkable feat,” said Vice President for University Advancement Kale Gober at Friday’s event. “The way that you do that is not through big gifts, it’s through a lot of people giving a little bit.”
Approximately 1,600 people made a gift to UCA on Day of Giving, according to Gober, with 33 percent of gifts being given by students. Donor participants were from 47 states and Puerto Rico, eight countries, and also included a constituent in Antarctica.
In 2019, the university raised a record $757,939 from a record 1,386 donors. In 2018, UCA raised $434,526. Since its inception in 2015, the annual Day of Giving drive has raised $2,427,363 for students and programs.
“Our record-breaking successes with Day of Giving reflect the engagement and dedication of our donors,” said UCA President Houston Davis in a university press release. “They recognize the tremendous impact that our graduates and programs are having across the state and beyond.”
This year’s theme was Take Your Pick and referred to the numerous funds available for donors to consider when giving online atuca.edu/dayofgiving, so that donors could identify and support areas they are most passionate about investing in. A number of departments also identified giving partners that will match individual gifts dollar for dollar, thus doubling the impact of certain donations.
UCA’s Student Government Association provided a 100 percent matching gift for the first $2,000 in student donations to support the Emergency Student Scholarship Fund through the UCA Foundation’s annual fund.
The following donors pledged a matching challenge to benefit a variety of funds: Gary Bunn, Janet Filer, Carolyn Ishee, Michael Mills, Louis Nadelson, Vicki Groves-Scott andKaren Sullards (College of Education Enhancement Fund); Gayle Seymour (College of Fine Arts and Communication);Peter Mehl (College of Liberal Arts); Tom Williams (College of Liberal Arts and the College of Fine Arts and Communication); Stephen Addison (College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics); Joe and Connie Whisenhunt (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre); and Acxiom, American Safeguard Insurance, Conway Development Corporation, Conway Regional Health System, Dave Creek Media, and Edafio Technology (Conductor).
The donations made during Day of Giving will go toward student, campus and community needs including scholarships, state-of-the-art equipment, experiential learning opportunities and first-class exhibits and performances on campus that are available to the larger communities of Conway, Faulkner County and central Arkansas.
“Day of Giving is an especially inspiring fundraising effort,” says Haley Fowler, director of Annual Giving. “Students, faculty and staff from across our campus come together in a determined effort to raise funds for scholarships and programs. The energy this year was amazing!”
To see more details about the results and the breakdown of individual funds, visit uca.edu/dayofgiving.