As the world marked the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bulldogs came together to honor friends, colleagues, and loved ones and give back to Butler University during the sixth annual Day of Giving on February 24 and 25. Donors raised a record-breaking $614,710 during the event, and almost 300 of the 1,803 gifts made during the event were in honor or memory of colleagues, friends, and loved ones.

“The fact that so many donors chose to make gifts to Butler during this year’s Day of Giving in honor or memory of others is truly inspiring,” says Vice President for Advancement Jonathan D. Purvis. “This gesture demonstrates the true spirit of The Butler Way as Bulldogs joined together to make a difference in the lives of our students out of their sincere love for one another.”

Whether donors made a gift in honor of the friends and colleagues from whom they’ve been separated for the last year or in memory of departed loved ones, all gifts made during Day of Giving’s 1,855 minutes (in honor of Butler’s founding in 1855) support current and future students.

“One of the best investments you can make in yourself is coming to Butler University. I want to say thank you to all of the alumni out there—I would not be here without your support!” says Paco Beltran Rodriguez ’23.

Donors supported 140 different funds representing a variety of programs, departments, and initiatives across the University. Among the initiatives supported most generously by Day of Giving donors were the Butler Fund for Student Scholarship, the Sciences Expansion and Renovation Project, the Ayers Student Assistance Fund, and a newly created College of Education Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fund.

Student scholarships are particularly critical to fulfilling Butler’s commitment to embracing and supporting learners of all life stages and backgrounds. Every dollar given to the Butler Fund for Student Scholarships goes directly back out the door to students in the form of scholarships. The average first-year student receives $22,000 in financial assistance.

The total amount raised includes $170,779 in funding from donors whose gifts were offered as challenges to inspire others to join in giving. Among the challenges was a $50,000 gift to the Butler Fund for Student Scholarship from Ken Massaroni ’83 and Lori Ziemba ’82, and Lynne Zydowsky ’81, which was accomplished when 1,500 gifts were received.

“Butler donors have always been incredibly generous, but the outpouring of support and record-breaking contributions during this year’s Day of Giving are particularly noteworthy given the circumstances of the past year,” Purvis says. “These philanthropic gifts represent many lives that have and will be changed for the better by a Butler education.”

The funds raised during Day of Giving support several of Butler’s key strategic priorities under the Butler Beyond strategic direction. Butler is nearing $200 million raised toward its $250 million goal for the Butler Beyond comprehensive fundraising campaign, which concludes on May 31, 2022. As of March 22, Butler has raised $198 million in support of initiatives aimed at advancing the campaign’s three pillars: Student Access and Success, Innovations in Teaching and Learning, and Community Partnerships.