In typical Colby-Sawyer fashion, friends and alumni of CSC pulled together and supported the college during the Day of Support on Friday, May 8. Thanks to contributions from more than 580 people, the college raised over $370,000 toward the Student Aid Emergency Fund, scholarships and other aspects of the student experience.
“The outpouring of the alumni community has been astounding,” Director of Annual Giving and Operations Luke Gorman said. “Even during the COVID-19 crisis, everyone has pulled together for the good of the college.”
Last year, Colby-Sawyer celebrated the success of its first Day of Giving by exceeding the initial goal of 300 donors threefold. Gorman says, “This year was going to be bigger than last year. There were more activities planned on campus, and a lot of momentum was building. When COVID-19 arrived, that changed everything.”
Once the impact of the pandemic became clear, it was determined that this year’s Day of Giving would not take place in April. In response to interest from friends and alumni who asked how they could help students, the college created a Student Aid Emergency Fund to assist students with unanticipated expenses and planned a Day of Support for May.
“We wanted to gather the Colby-Sawyer community together, without the expectation that donations be made, and show the Class of 2020 that we recognize this has been a senior spring that no one could have predicted,” Gorman said. “We also wanted to highlight that the college, now maybe more than ever, does rely on the monetary contributions of our alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends.”
Scheduled for the day before what would have been Commencement for the Class of 2020, the Day of Support was a huge success, bringing together 583 donors and raising $371,646 from alumni, friends, faculty, staff, parents and students. This total includes $150,000 in matching funds that was put forth by the college’s Board of Trustees. Support also came in the way of words of encouragement and advice to our students. Many people sent pictures, videos and motivational words to students. These messages were shared on social media throughout the week leading up to the Day of Support.
“During the week of what should have been senior week and our commencement ceremony, it was comforting watching videos from alumni, faculty and staff,” said Cheyann Ellis, a member of the Class of 2020. “I’ve been missing CSC a lot and it was great seeing familiar faces and hearing from members of our Chargers community.”
“The support shown by the Colby-Sawyer community has been overwhelming,” Vice President for College Advancement Dan Parish said. “These generous gifts will have a significant impact on the student experience at Colby-Sawyer.”