Giving Day supports the ’Hurst campuses

Caitlyn Lear, News editor

Mercyhurst will host its annual Giving Day on May 2. The donations received throughout the day will go towards the Mercyhurst Annual Fund, which is part of the university budget.

“Giving Day is a 24-hour giving challenge for alumni, parents, employees and students to show their support to the ’Hurst,” Lindsay Frank, director of Alumni Engagement, said.

Gifts of all sizes count, even just a single dollar. People can give online or at campus giving stations. Cash, credit cards and Laker Loot will be accepted. The giving stations will be located in Old Main, Hirt and Zurn from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and in the Laker Inn and Grotto Commons during lunch.

“Our goal is to get over 400 donors in just one day and we need our students help in reaching this goal,” Frank said.

A very generous donor has already agreed to match whatever is raised, up to $40,000.

During the 2016 Giving Day, Mercyhurst raised a total of $86,088. This came from 415 donors and two match challenges. The year before saw a donation total of over $60,000.

Also, throughout the day last year to encourage donations, prizes, such as tote bags, were given to donors.

“Students can also share supports for giving day on social media using #hurstgivingday,” Frank said.

When giving online, there is a minimum of $10. The gift given can also make it a recurring or monthly donation.

Donations will be posted on the donor wall. They can be made anonymously, or the with the donor name and amount.

The donations have different tiers in terms of amount donated. A $25 donation is a “Once a Laker, Always a Laker” donation. A $50 donation is a “Briggs Ave.” donation. A $100 donation is “The Gates” donation. A $250 donation is “The Grotto” donation. A $500 donation is a “Old Main” donation. A $1000 donation is a “O’Neil Tower” donation.

The Mercyhurst Annual Fund has a large impact on the campus and gives maximum flexibility to the greatest needs area each year. There are seven priorities that a gift to the Mercyhurst Annual Fund can go to: area of greatest need, academic and library, arts and culture, athletics, Catholic and Mercy mission, North East, and scholarships and financial aid.

According to the Mercyhurst University Alumni Community website, the fund helps “bridge the gap between tuition and operating expenses and the actual cost of educating students and maintaining the success of the institution.”

The Annual Fund has led to many advancements at the university. The Public Health program began in 2011 with money from the fund.

Over 95 percent of students at the school receive scholarships to help with tuition, room and board. Gifts from the fund give students the money they need to afford a Mercyhurst education.

Updates on the progress of the donations will be given periodically throughout the day online. The Giving Day is sponsored by the Alumni Engagement.