The annual campaign aims to raise funds for Fordham scholarships, sports teams, academic programs, and more through donations from alumni, students, faculty, and friends of Fordham. Like last year, the campaign will last 1,841 minutes in honor of the University’s founding year of 1841 and end the next day, March 3, at 6:41 p.m. As in years past, the goal of Giving Day is to give back to the community that has positively shaped the lives of thousands of Rams around the world.
“I get to be a part of a really incredible community that wouldn’t be possible without our donors,” said Nicole Goldin, GABELLI ’22, the Student Philanthropy Committee Giving Day chair. “Everything on campus is partially funded by donors, whether it be our clubs, sports teams, GO! trips, the libraries where we study, or the Plaza at Lincoln Center. Those are really what add to the Fordham experience and the incredible community that we have here. I just think it’s so important to make sure you give back to the community that gives so much to you.”
Three Perspectives: Why Giving Day Matters
Last year, donors raised nearly a million dollars on Giving Day. Among the students who benefited from the support is Kaitlin Morley, a senior at Fordham College at Rose Hill who has played on the University volleyball team since her first year.
“Giving Day supplies us with everything, basically. It really funds our program. It helps us get an extra pair of shoes for training, our bags and kneepads—everything,” Morley said.
Thanks to last year’s donations, her team was able to travel to Italy this past spring and play against their international peers for two weeks—a rare opportunity for student-athletes, who often have limited study abroad opportunities because of their busy practice schedules, said Morley. The day after commencement, they flew across the Atlantic Ocean and visited Venice, Milan, and Rome. It was hard to hold long conversations with their Italian-speaking opponents, but they shared meals, including pasta and salad at a vineyard, and felt “united by one sport,” said Morley. All of these experiences wouldn’t have been possible without the support of donors, she added.
“It really means everything to us. You feel their support, and you want to play harder for not only yourself and your teammates and coaches, but for the other people invested in the program,” Morley said.
Among the donors who made their first-ever gift to Fordham on Giving Day 2019 were Leanne and Hugh Mohler, parents to Hughie, a sophomore in the Gabelli School of Business. Over the past two years, their son has flourished, said his mother. Hughie, the first in his family to attend Fordham, is studying accounting, playing club lacrosse, and flying to London next fall for a semester-long study abroad program, she said.
“The main reason we decided to give was that our son is having a really positive experience at Fordham. He is very happy—and because he’s very happy, we’re very happy,” said Leanne.
It’s a sentiment shared by many alumni, including Brendan O’Grady, GABELLI ’13. When he was a student at Fordham, he said he learned from professors who not only helped him with academics and professional challenges but also personal growth. Those lessons helped him better communicate and care for his colleagues at Ernst & Young, where he works as a manager in digital strategy, he said.
These days, O’Grady is giving back to Fordham. On Giving Day 2020, he’s sponsoring the Class of 2020 Challenge. (If 50 students or parents from the class of 2020 make a gift, O’Grady will donate $2,020 to Fordham.) This will be his third time sponsoring a challenge gift for Fordham’s Giving Day.
“For me, it’s very important to make sure that I do what I can do to contribute and hopefully help other people have that experience,” O’Grady said.
Other day-long 2020 Giving Day challenges include:
- Big Giving Day Challenge: If 1,841 people make donations, Trustee Darlene Luccio Jordan, FCRH ’89, and Gerald R. Jordan will donate $50,000 towards scholarships and financial aid.
- Parent Challenge: If 250 Fordham parents donate on Giving Day, Michael Emerson and Kathryn Naassan, PAR ’20, will donate $5,000.
- Student Club Challenge #1: The approved club that receives the most gifts—no matter the amount—will earn $250.
- Spirited Selfie Challenge: Share a photo of yourself donning your best maroon-and-white gear. Ramses will pick one lucky poster and give $250 toward the Fordham cause of their choice. Make sure to use #FordhamGivingDay.
- All Things Cute Challenge: Share a photo of your baby—or fur baby—in Fordham gear, including #FordhamGivingDay and the area of the University that matters most to you. One post will earn an extra $250 for their cause.
- Campus Beauty Challenge: Post your favorite picture of the Fordham campus with #FordhamGivingDay. Make sure to mention your favorite Fordham cause in the caption—one person will earn an extra $250 for their program of choice.