5.06.15: A Day of Giving

What was once just a normal spring day at the University is now a day to be celebrated. On May 6, alumni, students, parents, employees and friends pulled together to give back to Scranton.

5.06.15: A Day of Giving banner image

Twenty-four hours of giving has an impact that will last a lifetime.

What was once just a normal spring day at the University is now a day to be celebrated. On May 6, alumni, students, parents, employees and friends pulled together to give back to Scranton, showing just what it means to be a Royal.

A conversation that began among members of the Alumni Society Board of Governors about an inaugural day of giving quickly blossomed into "Scranton506,” the most successful one-day giving campaign in the history of the University. In 24 hours, 1,044 donors contributed a total of $139,340 in support of scholarships, academic programming, service, Campus Ministries, athletics and other University priorities.

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Social media channels were buzzing with purple-themed selfies, nostalgic photos of campus and well-known Jesuit quotes. Pride was high and the sense of community was strong online, on campus and around the world. Dedicated alumni volunteers helped to develop the concept, set the goals for Scranton506 and were part of the momentum that made it a success. The University never went more than 11 minutes without receiving a gift!

Top Ten Participating Classes
1. Class of 1967
2. Class of 2001
3. Class of 2013
4. Class of 1999
5. Class of 2006
6. Class of 1988
7. Class of 2014
8. Class of 2008
9. Class of 1964
10. Class of 2012

SPARKing Inspiration

holdens_356.jpegEarly in the day, Joe Holden and Megan Fleming Holden, both graduates of the Class of 1995, announced that they would match all gifts made to the SPARK program dollar-for-dollar up to a total of $2,500.

SPARK, a weeklong summer camp managed by the Center for Service and Social Justice, offers safe, educational programming for at-risk teens in the Scranton area. The camp is led by University of Scranton student volunteers and alumni are invited to visit throughout the week to talk about how their Jesuit education impacted their lives.

Joe Holden spent a few days at the Chapman Lake camp last summer with his sons, Liam and Quinn, and had the opportunity to share his story. After he witnessed firsthand the impact the program had on the teens and preteens who attended, the family knew it was important to help the program sustain and grow. 

By the end of the day, 91 gifts were made to SPARK, totaling more than $4,000. 

The Short Family Challenge

shortseaster.jpegThe University reached its donor goal at 2:02 p.m., but Alumni Board Member Mike Short ’99 and his wife Susanna Puntel Short ’01 did not want the day to lose momentum. The Shorts issued a challenge of their own: they would contribute $10,000 if the University reached 819 donors by the end of the day. The new number paid tribute to a day of great significance to the couple, the day they were married on campus on Aug. 19, 2000.

Last year, the Shorts established the Men and Women for Others Scholarship Fund, to help provide a Scranton education to students highly engaged in community service. If the challenge was met, the couple’s donation would be earmarked to support that effort.

“For us, service is the root of our Scranton education. Mike and I had so many powerful experiences while at Scranton, and some of the best were service-oriented,” Susanna Short said. “When creating the scholarship, we wanted to raise up students who cared about helping others.”

Susanna said she and her husband saw the challenge as an opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves.

“We see it as such a privilege to still feel connected to a place like Scranton,” Susanna Short said. “We had such a fun day watching the numbers go up and encouraging our friends. It was a really good campaign and we hope that donors, whether new or occasional, continue to see the value in making a contribution to Scranton.”

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