Baylor students and alumni give back through Giving Day

Members of student foundation encouraged students to write thank you letters to donors by rewarding them with free Common Grounds coffee Wednesday on Founders Mall. Photo courtesy of D. E. McCarty

By Harry Rowe | Staff Writer

Baylor was gifted with donations from students, alumni and Baylor families during its first two-day “Giving Day” event.

Giving Day, which began Tuesday at noon, raised $521,568 through a total of 2,713 gifts, or monetary donations, collected by the university. Bears pitched in from 43 of 50 states nationwide, and gave to more than 100 different areas of the university, according to BaylorProud.

“We basically created an event for people to show their love of Baylor. It wasn’t just through gifts, although gifts was a component of it,” said Laura Kramer-Lucas, director of Annual Giving. “It was also through sharing stories of why Baylor means something to them, sharing a story of a favorite professor, just basically showing their love of Baylor.”

Kramer-Lucas was in charge of the event. She said doughnuts and iced coffee were passed out to students to promote the message of Giving Day to the Baylor community. She also had hidden items around campus to promote the event.

“We hid seven stuffed bears on campus with a little tag on it, and if a student found it, because we have an anonymous donor willing to put up some money for this, they could designate where a $100 gift could go on campus,” Kramer-Lucas said.

The current numbers may not even do the event full justice, as Kramer-Lucas says more was raised than meets the eye.

“Even though that’s what we could track for that immediate time, we still had donors that were calling in and doing stock transfers and things like that have not been completed,” Kramer-Lucas said. “So the truth of the matter is there’s more than what you’re seeing there.”

Stephen Sullivan, assistant director for annual giving, said the small donations are just as important as the big ones.

“We got some big gifts, but there were several hundred small gifts, and the goal of that is just getting young alumni, recent graduates, giving,” Sullivan said.

Giving Day benefits Baylor as a whole, and the recipients of its donations range widely.

“It raised money for everything from student scholarships to building improvements to athletic support,” Sullivan said. “There were a hundred funds that were supported throughout the Giving Day overall.”

David Rosselli, vice president for advancement, was happy about Giving Day’s success and said it’s a great event that helps show the love people have for the Baylor community.

“It’s an opportunity to come together in a 24-hour period and demonstrate the collective love that the [Baylor] family has for the institution,” Rosselli said. “[We want] to give it an opportunity for it to benefit from that outpouring of support in the areas that people have interest in.”