The community of University of Pittsburgh alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff and friends responded to this year’s Pitt Day of Giving by donating a record-setting $9,029,828. Gifts were made by 3,358 donors from all 50 states and 31 countries across six continents.
Held Feb. 28 to commemorate the University’s Founders’ Day in 1787, the second annual campaign supported scholarships, research, academic programs and student activities, among other initiatives. Overall, 1,941 Pitt alumni made gifts to every school and college at the University, eclipsing last year’s total of 1,695 alumni donors. Pitt faculty and staff also rose to the challenge of the day; 808 University employees each made a gift, more than doubling last year’s 371.
“Our main goal was to engage the entire Pitt community and build awareness of how giving advances Pitt’s mission,” said Kris Davitt, vice chancellor for development and alumni relations and president of the Medical and Health Sciences Foundation. “The results prove Pitt’s impact is felt around the globe and that our community is incredibly supportive.”
Donors provided challenge fund prizes that sparked friendly competition among Pitt’s schools, programs and student organizations. Prize winners included the following:
- School of Pharmacy won the School Participation competition to earn $30,000.
- Human Engineering Research Laboratories claimed the top prize of $30,000 in the Pitt Programs and Experiences competition.
- Men’s Glee Club earned $10,000 for winning the Student Organization competition by gathering twice as many gifts as any other group.
“It really is an all-day celebration,” Davitt said. “It is so much fun to see the Pitt pride on display for this new and exciting tradition.”
The enthusiastic participation was reflected in social media activity. The hashtag #PittDayOfGiving garnered 2.88 million impressions over the 24-hour fundraising event, making it the No. 1 trending hashtag in Pittsburgh throughout the day.
“Pitt gave me some of the greatest memories, friends, and experiences possible. It was only fitting that I finally gave back for the first time on today’s #PittDayOfGiving! Forever Panther Proud! #H2P,” tweeted Jonathan Adams (SCI ’11).
At 3:45 p.m. on Feb. 28, the goal of receiving a gift from six continents was reached. At 10:15 p.m., the goal of receiving gifts from all 50 states was achieved with the first of three donations from Hawaii. At 10:43 p.m., the goal of receiving gifts from 30 countries was met (eventually, 31 would be included).