Kent State University has ushered in the season of giving with its annual month-long Giving Tuesday philanthropic campaign. The 2020 event for Kent State University Geauga and Twinsburg Academic Center (TAC) focused on Last Dollar Scholarships and emergency funding.
“Students need our support now more than ever as a result of the pandemic,” said Angela Spalsbury, Dean and Chief Administrative Officer for Kent State University Geauga and the Twinsburg Academic Center. “Many students and their families have experienced financial hardships this year.”
Students have tried to balance remote learning, finding new jobs, helping their families, and more to pursue their degrees since the pandemic began in March. “For the second year in a row, community partner The Middlefield Banking Company joined our Giving Tuesday efforts,” said Molly Smith, associate director of advancement. “ The Middlefield Banking Company represents the community and recognized the need once again to support our students.”
“We were happy to join in this campaign again,” said Melissa Maki, VP marketing communications director for Middlefield Bank. “The opportunity for us to match the first $2,500 donated for Kent Geauga and the TAC is a great way for us to partner not only with Kent State but also our community members.”
Smith noted that the original goal for the local Giving Tuesday initiative was $5,000. “That amount was surpassed the week of Thanksgiving. We increased our goal to $7,500, and to date, we are at $8,500!”
“The generosity of our alumni, Advisory Board members, community residents, family members, and faculty and staff is overwhelming! We cannot thank them enough for supporting our students.,” Spalsbury added.
The university’s overall 2020 Giving Tuesday campaign surpassed previous years’ records, despite the economic impact of COVID-19, as alumni, friends, faculty and staff raised $2,233,145 to support more than 2,300 students, many of whom are facing financial hardships. The 2019 campaign raised $1.7 million.
This year’s campaign featured 35 funds that focused on the university’s goal to prioritize student success through scholarships and on programs within the key areas of ensuring access, rewarding achievement, enhancing experiences and fostering completion. Thanks to the support of more than 2,100 donors, Kent State students will have the opportunity to not only attend the university, but to also dedicate themselves to their studies and immerse themselves in transformative learning experiences as they work to earn their degrees.
“We are moved by the generosity of spirit we continue to see among our university community,” said Valoree Vargo, interim vice president of philanthropy and alumni engagement and the executive director of the Kent State Foundation. “Even in times of uncertainty, the Kent State family remains steadfast in its commitment to others. We know that giving back with time, talent and treasure is at the heart of the Kent State community.”
“The numbers for this year’s Giving Tuesday campaign were larger than ever, but what those figures represent is even more telling,” said Danielle Hupp, senior associate director, Special Giving Initiatives. “They show that the Kent State community comes together, in good times and in bad, to make a lasting impact on our community.”
To view a special message from Kent State University President Todd Diacon, please visit www.kent.edu/givingtuesday.
About Kent State University
Kent State University is one of 91 public doctoral universities with high research activity, as categorized by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Kent State is the highest-ranking public university in Northern Ohio on the Top Public Schools and Best National Universities lists by U.S. News & World Report. With eight campuses spanning Northeast Ohio, a College of Podiatric Medicine, a Twinsburg Academic Center and academic sites in major world cities, such as New York City, Geneva and Florence, Kent State is one of Ohio’s leading public universities and a major educational, economic and cultural resource far beyond the Northeast Ohio region it has served since 1910. The student body comprises more than 36,000 students, including more than 1,300 international students from nearly 100 countries, and the worldwide alumni family exceeds 257,000. The addition of new learning environments from the sciences to the arts and the development of exciting new academic programs characterize Kent State’s focus on transformational educational experiences.
For more information about Kent State, visit www.kent.edu.