By Hannah Neumann
For the second year in a row, Texas Christian University challenged Baylor to the I-35 Battle Royale Young Alumni Challenge, a competition to see which university can raise the largest amount of donations between Sept. 24 and Oct. 8.
The winner will be announced before Saturday’s game at McLane Stadium.
With two days left in the competition and a 1-percent difference in donations received between the universities, Baylor’s alumni hopes to pull through in the final few days, as they did last year, to end the competition victoriously.
“I feel like one of our roles as alumni is to give back to this university in which we love and in which we put a lot of hard-work into making such a successful place,” said Allan Marshall, a 2007 alumnus donor. “I really believe in Baylor, and I believe in giving back and helping the institution move forward and this is a great way to do that.”
With TCU in the lead by only 1 percent, Marshall said he has full faith that Baylor can pull through, though to him, the end victory is only a small part of the competition.
“I’m not really a competitive person,” Marshall said. “But it’s always good to have healthy competition. And this is healthy for both universities.”
Marshall said that to him, the main significance of the contest is to attract new supporters and donors.
“It’s great because you are reaching a new donor base and it’s just fascinating to see the amount of new individuals that are coming in and giving,” he said. “And that’s really what we take away from it. I mean, of course we want to beat TCU, but at the same time it’s just great to have an opportunity to bring new, energized donors in whether its for Baylor or for TCU.”
Davin Denk, assistant director of annual giving, is a 2008 alumnus and said the great thing about the competition is that it doesn’t limit donors to just one field.
“We just want people to give back where they are passionate,” Denk said. “So, for instance, if you graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences, we would love for you to support students who follow in your footsteps. Any gift at all really counts.”
Denk said that the competition winner is based on the number of gifts rather than the amount raised, because the more people to support a university not only helps the students, but also boosts the national rankings.
“We only need 50 gifts to get ahead and I feel excited because I think we can really come through,” Denk said. “Last year it was a head-to-head competition and literally at the last minute we jumped ahead and blew them out of the water. I would love for that to happen again.”
Denk said that winning the contest off the field would be a great spirit booster to start the game.
“The game is going to be a little more intense than maybe was expected,” Denk said. “We want to announce the victory beforehand so that we can go in excited and ready to beat them on the field as well.”