Touchdown oversees Giving Day festivities in Willard Straight Hall.

More than $12M donated to support students in 24 hours

On Cornell’s eighth Giving Day, held March 16, 15,905 alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents and friends from more than 80 countries made gifts totaling a record-breaking $12,268,629.

Giving Day volunteers write thank you postcards to donors.

“The thousands of gifts made on Giving Day will help Cornell continue to do the greatest good for our students, and in the world,” said Fred Van Sickle, vice president for alumni affairs and development (AAD). “We’re thrilled that so many Cornell alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends chose to come together to make such an incredible difference in just 24 hours.”­­

Giving Day 2022 broke several additional records – with the most funds donors could support on any Cornell Giving Day (more than 500), and $1.6 million in gift matches and challenge funds, which increased the impact of donors’ gifts.

“So many alumni were happy to talk about their experiences and share their stories with me around Giving Day,” said Sage Printup ’22, a student ambassador in Cornell’s Student Engagement Center. “One woman told me that she usually makes her annual gift at the end of the year, but after learning about all of the matching that occurs during Giving Day, she decided to change that to increase her impact.”

Gift challenges for students and young alumni secured an extra $50,000 toward undergraduate scholarships, and students in the Classes of 2022 and 2023 made the most gifts of all Cornell classes. More than 800 international donors from Kenya to Japan to Australia helped secure challenge funds for Global Cornell, given by members of the Cornell Asia Alumni Leadership Advisors and the Cornell China Alumni Advisory Board.

Several in-person events inspired the campus community to join in the day’s Big Red spirit, as well. In Willard Straight Hall, students learned about the importance of philanthropy while enjoying snacks and ice cream, and wrote thank you postcards to donors. Alumni and students also gathered in New York City to celebrate Giving Day, while toasting to the 10th anniversary of Cornell Tech.

More than 160 student and alumni volunteers also served as Giving Day Champions, fundraising for areas of the university they care about and asking their peers to make gifts. Donors gave to scholarships, program funds, student teams and more.

“I want others to have the life-changing experience that I did at Cornell,” said volunteer Terri Denison ’84. “Participating in Giving Day is my contribution toward making that happen. This year, I again championed our local alumni club’s scholarship fund. I desire so much for others to have the Cornell experience, regardless of their financial situation and without dread of insurmountable student debt when they graduate.”

Kait Provost is a writer for Alumni Affairs and Development.

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Jeffrey Martin