Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic and its human and economic impacts, the University of Denver global network of alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents, families and friends united on May 20 to show their support for students during 1Day4DU. A total of 2,390 donors contributed $456,196 to mission-critical priorities during DU’s sixth annual day of giving.
“The University of Denver community came together and united through 1Day4DU to bring an incredible level of support to our students, including our Student Assistance Fund,” says Chancellor Jeremy Haefner. “The commitment to the DU mission and vision expressed through the gifts of so many of our alumni and friends, as well as their sincere words of support, will have a tremendous impact on our students’ educational experience — and that impact will last a lifetime.”
Responding to the 1Day4DU campaign, DU community members from nearly every U.S. state and multiple countries gave online to a wide array of 25 featured funds and programs, including the Student Assistance Fund (SAF), internships, scholarships, athletics and club sports, and schools and colleges. Due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first year the day of giving did not have an on-campus event.
This year’s funding opportunities fell under four general categories: student support, academic unit support, research support and public good support.
Recognizing the hardships that many DU students are facing this year because of the global pandemic, the SAF led the way with more than 800 donors contributing nearly $150,000 to the fund. The SAF was launched by DU students several years ago to help keep their peers on track for academic success by providing emergency funding to address unforeseen financial hardships and assist with essential costs not covered by other programs. The SAF is 100% supported by donations, and funds are awarded as a one-time grant.
“Our community’s strong participation in 1Day4DU amid a global pandemic sent a message of support for our students and mission,” says Valerie Otten, senior vice chancellor for Advancement. “It reflected a deep belief among alumni, parents and families, faculty, staff, students and other friends in the important work of DU to advance opportunities for our students to learn, thrive, and continue making an incredible impact on our world.”
This year’s 1Day4DU also included a special town hall featuring Haefner, with hundreds of people attending the online event. He discussed with four distinguished alumni — Susana Cordova (BA ’88), superintendent of Denver Public Schools; Cary Kennedy (JD ’97), senior advisor for fiscal policy to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis; Rico Munn (JD ’96), superintendent of Aurora Public Schools; and Jon Schlegel (BSBA ’97), founder of Attimo Wine and co-founder of Snooze, an A.M. Eatery — their stories of caring, enduring and persevering in this challenging time.