MAY 2, 2022 — For 1,969 minutes on April 19 and 20, Roadrunners near and far united for the second annual UTSA Giving Day. While the final results are still being tallied, more than $503,000 was raised from more than 2,400 donors, setting a new record for donor participation in just under two days.
Gifts from students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, fans and the community supported more than 50 programs across the university, including colleges and schools, student activities, athletics, the UTSA Libraries, UTSA Alumni Association scholarships and much more.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the ongoing generosity of Roadrunner nation as we work together to continue enhancing the programs that make UTSA such a special place,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “This year’s record-breaking support is so appreciated and will significantly contribute to UTSA’s upward trajectory while creating even more opportunities for faculty, staff and student success.”
Throughout the 32 hour-plus event, dozens of fulfilled challenges and matching opportunities enhanced the impact of individual donations. One such opportunity was provided by David and Jennifer Spencer ’93, who offered a challenge to encourage more than 300 people to donate to the Spirit of San Antonio (SOSA) marching band. The long-time UTSA donors matched the first 100 gifts dollar for dollar; the second 100 gifts were matched $2 for every $1; and the third 100-plus donors’ gifts were matched 3-to-1, for a total of around $25,000. SOSA will used the funds raised to purchase a travel trailer to expand their opportunities to attend away games and other events.
The UTSA Libraries recruited more than 150 donors to unlock a challenge grant of $25,000 provided by philanthropists Scott Sawtelle and Kathleen Curry. The challenge funds will expand the use of open-source textbooks for key courses at UTSA, a program that has already saved students millions of dollars in purchases.
The overall winner of the leaderboard challenge was UTSA Athletics, raising more than $57,000 from 335 donors, which earned them an additional $10,000 for gaining the most donors and for raising the most money of all the participating programs. April Ancira ’03 and Drs. John Richardson and Jan Puckett provided funding for the challenges. The Roadrunner Pantry earned an additional $1,000 for taking top spots for the student program with the most donors and most dollars raised.
More than $2,000 was awarded to student programs thanks to a special challenge by Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union. Magnets were hidden around campus with various dollars amounts and the students who found them could choose a program to benefit. Cavender Cares, the charitable program of the Cavender Auto Group, provided $1,000 for the first power hour winner (Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band), $500 for the first program to receive a gift (Roadrunner Pantry) and $500 for the program that received the last gift (Wellbeing Initiatives).
Gifts on the UTSA Giving Day website from $1 up to $12,500 helped ensure success. A full list of results as well as the challenges and their donors are available on the UTSA Giving Day website.
In hosting a second UTSA Giving Day, the Roadrunner community joined a successful trend in higher education to celebrate philanthropy and focus giving over a limited number of days. A task force made up of university staff from development, alumni relations and university relations, as well as students from the Roadrunner Student Alumni Association, worked for a year to guide the effort.
“UTSA Giving Day makes giving fun, as evidenced by much of the competition we saw among the participating campus organizations,” said Karl Miller-Lugo, vice president for development and alumni relations. “The official count will take some time, but what we already know is that we surpassed last year’s numbers in a significant way. I am grateful for the generosity of so many people whose support is building the nest and maintaining the university’s momentum.”
For Miller-Lugo, the event’s success went beyond the final total raised.
“To see the participation from across the country is really inspiring. Gifts even came in from alumni in Canada, China and Japan,” he said. “The mega gifts that make the news certainly have a big impact, but the reality is that the gifts of $25, $100, $500, $2,000 that come in from campaigns like UTSA Giving Day are what sustains the university’s progress with direct impact on key programs. Every donor can be proud of that.”
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