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New Records and Extraordinary Impact on NC State’s Sixth Day of Giving

Just because something has never been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done. That’s the attitude the NC State men’s basketball team brought to winning an unprecedented five games to secure the ACC tournament championship title last weekend.

And that’s the same spirit Wolfpack donors brought to NC State’s sixth annual Day of Giving on March 20, setting a new university record for total number of gifts — 21,920 in all.

From those gifts, NC State raised $46,622,214 in support of students, faculty, programs, facilities, Extension, research and more. The dollar total is second only to NC State’s 2021 Day of Giving, which at the time set a national record for higher education giving days.

“This community comes together and responds in a big way every year. The way Day of Giving has grown says so much about the Wolfpack family,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson. “We are so proud of all we accomplished today. As I often say, as exciting as these numbers like this are, what is most exciting is the impact these gifts will make.”

Donors representing 99 North Carolina counties, all 50 states and Washington, DC, and 20 countries were part of the 24-hour effort. Throughout the day, leaderboard and hourly giving challenges maximized each gift, as colleges, programs and other areas competed for shares of bonus funds.

These bonuses for leaderboard competitions and challenges come from a pool of unrestricted university enhancement funds. This year’s leaderboard winners include:

  • Dollars raised: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, with $6,707,800
  • Most gifts: Poole College of Management, with 3,193 gifts
  • University Priorities (most gifts among individual offices, programs and funds throughout campus): NC State Alumni Association, with 1,204
  • Power Your Pack (largest percent increase from previous highest gift total): STEPS Enhancement Fund, with 571% more gifts

Part of this year’s success was due to NC State’s faculty and staff, who went above and beyond throughout the day, and showed up in particularly strong numbers during the Faculty and Staff Giving Challenge. Nearly 2,000 gifts from faculty and staff members came through in that 2 p.m. challenge hour alone. 

“We have $46 million reasons to be thankful today,” said Reshunda Mahone, associate vice chancellor for alumni engagement and annual giving. “Wolfpack Nation really stepped forward to support our vision and our future in such incredible ways.” 

In addition to hourly giving challenges, social media challenges highlighted one of the most important parts of Day of Giving: the unique relationships alumni, families, friends and staff share with NC State. 

Whether sharing photos of dogs and cats (and even the occasional snake) in their NC State gear for the Pack Pets Challenge, putting a unique stamp on the “Red and White Song” or sharing what they love about the departments and programs they call home through the #GivingPack Hashtag Match Challenge, supporters on Facebook, LinkedIn, X (formerly known as Twitter) and Instagram highlighted the enduring experiences, memories and connections that make being a part of the Wolfpack so special. 

“Day of Giving brings our entire community together,” said Brian Sischo, vice chancellor for university advancement. “I’m so grateful to everyone who joined in today to show the true strength of the Pack. Each year continues to get better and better — this is an incredible university and an incredible campus that comes together to do amazing things.”

While Day of Giving always highlights what the Pack achieves together, this year put a new spin on interactivity with the Wolfpack Games. Throughout the day, track and field coach Laurie Henes and football coach Dave Doeren faced off in a series of head-to-head challenges as voters at home determined the college or division for which each coach would compete.

In the end, Doeren represented the Division of Academic Student Affairs, though he came up short of Henes in the final challenge — a spirited Jenga match — and the track and field coach earned bragging rights and a $4,000 bonus for the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity. 

Other highlights from the day include:

  • Chair of the Board of Trustees Ed Weisiger Jr. ’82 and his wife Betsy Fleming gave seven-figure gifts in support of the Integrative Sciences Building and the Chancellor’s Transformational Endowment Fund, representing key investments in NC State’s future.
  • Former Board of Trustees member and three-time alumnus Jim Owens and his wife Katie made a key gift to the Integrative Sciences Building in collaborative and cutting-edge STEM education and research. 
  • Dean ’86 and Gail Bunce, who have inspired fellow College of Sciences donors with their matching gifts since Day of Giving launched in 2019, continued their challenge match support with a $10,000 gift.
  • The College of Sciences also received its largest challenge match gift in Day of Giving history: a $50,000 match from Amy ’91 and Jason ’92 Robertson to inspire young alumni to give back.
  • Steve ‘79 and Gladys Deaton, longtime supporters of Pack Essentials, Feed the Pack Food Pantry and Day of Giving, partnered with an anonymous couple for a $50,000 match to help expand Feed the Pack’s work.
  • Alumni Gregg Polubinsky and Bruce Mowrey made a $1 million planned gift to benefit Juniper Level Botanic Garden.
  • Two-time alumnus David M. Peele created the David M. Peele N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative Graduate Student Endowment to support graduate students in working in the plant sciences.
  • On behalf of their entertainment company, Mythical, College of Engineering alumni Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal — also known as the comedy duo Rhett & Link — established the Rhett & Link Engineering Innovation Scholarship Fund to support fellow creative and innovative engineering students. 
  • Volunteers, including those who signed up to be Pack leaders, as well as members of NC State’s boards, engaged in friendly competition that brought in $5.3 million from more than 8,000 gifts.

These gifts — and the nearly 22,000 others — will make an immediate and lasting difference throughout NC State.

“There is nothing better than seeing so many alumni, friends, families, students, faculty and staff invest in the parts of the university they find most meaningful,” Woodson said. “Thank you to everyone who made this day such a record-breaking success.”

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This post was originally published in Giving News.