For twelve hours straight, on November 8, Gustavus held its annual Give to Gustavus Day event, which saw over $493,000 in donations.
Give to Gustavus Day focuses on raising money for the Gustavus Fund, which helps to support scholarships, financial aid, instruction, academic support, research, student services, institutional support, signature events, and outreach, according to Gustavus alumna and Director of the Gustavus Fund Katie Schroeder.
“Gustavus Fund gifts help close the gap between tuition income and the College’s expenses… gifts are put to use immediately and impact every single student, every single day,” Schroeder said.
“With gifts to the Gustavus Fund, today’s Gustie students benefit immediately across all academic programs and aspects of student life, all student organizations and sports teams, all music ensembles and campus activities, everything students use and learn and love,” Schroeder continued.
This year, there was a twelve hour livestream from the Evelyn Young Dining Room which showed viewers real-time interviews with professors, alumni, and student organizations.
Students from various departments and event technical services were involved in the event, as were students from the hockey team, who helped to set up and put everything back after the event had concluded.
This year saw “more student involvement than ever before. Students [assisted] with [the] live stream in many different capacities, we had student groups featured on the live stream, and we encouraged students to post on social media to join the celebration,” Gustavus alumni and Assistant Director of the Gustavus Fund in Advancement Ben Miller said.
Give to Gustavus Day is “a day for the Gustavus community to celebrate the College we love so much and to raise support for the Gustavus Fund. When Gusties give back to Gustavus, they are supporting past, present, and future Gusties. Gifts to the Gustavus Fund go where they are needed most and are essential to the operation of Gustavus,” Miller said.
“Give to Gustavus Day has a lot of meaning to me as a Gustavus alum. It’s a chance to give back to a school, to a campus, that gave me so much during my time on the Hill. It’s also a day to reconnect with Gustie friends, with the college, and the great people I met while there,” Gustavus alumnus Damon Larson said.
Larson was able to participate with fellow Gustie alumni in the Denver, Colorado area, and shared that “Although our graduation years ranged from 1984 to 2000, we had oh-so-much in common, and our shared love of Gustavus was palpable.”
Many alumni were involved in Give to Gustavus Day this year.
Tane Danger, a Gustavus graduate from the class of ‘07, led tours for other alumni around campus to see what had changed since their years on the hill.
Class of ‘97 graduate Kara Buckner, as well as Mike Marcotte (’08), Marissa Haeny (’16), and Connor Myhre (’18) went with Gus the Lion to the Twin Cities to surprise alumni at their work, and to walk around downtown Minneapolis to generate Gustie pride and discussion about the event.
Give to Gustavus Day begins with a faculty-and-staff-giving campaign, during which “many faculty and staff members choose to give to Gustavus to support students financially above and beyond the support they give to students on a day-to-day basis,” Schroeder said.
Throughout the event, there were several challenges to meet, including a fifty-state challenge which required one donation from each state in order to reach a bonus $50,000 dollar gift.