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Friends and Alumni Make Record Response to Giving Tuesday


JONESBORO – The friends and alumni of Arkansas State University responded in record numbers to the 2020 Giving Tuesday appeal from A-State’s Student Philanthropy Council (SPC), raising more than $51,000 for the Student Emergency Fund.

Lifted by a pair of matching gifts from the Arvest Foundation and the Judd Hill Foundation, A-State more than doubled its original goal of $20,000 for online giving on Dec. 1 to the SPC.

“In a year that is fraught with challenges to everyone, to see this kind of outpouring of support to help our students is so incredibly encouraging,” Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said.  “I’m very proud of the hard work done by our Student Philanthropy Council and the leadership of our University Advancement staff to bring together such an impactful campaign.”

With the extra strains brought on by the global pandemic, the Student Emergency Fund has become a vital support system for A-State students.  Designed to provide support to Red Wolves facing unexpected financial hardships with small one-time grants, the SEF has provided more than $85,000 during 2020 to assist over 230 individual A-State students.  In comparison, the SEF funded micro-grants to 40 students totaling about $16,000 in 2019.

“This year’s Giving Tuesday has been our best crowd-funding day in every possible way,” Dr. Erika Krennerich Chudy, Vice Chancellor of University Advancement, said.  “We had a record number of individual gifts.  We had not one, but two foundations step up with matching gifts.  We are thankful for the support of the Arvest Foundation with the initial matching gift of $10,000 toward the SEF, and then, Judd Hill Foundation and Mike Gibson stepped in to match the Arvest gift with $10,000 of their own.”

The president of the Student Philanthropy Council, Madi Wood, was excited about the overall response both by friends and foundations.

“On behalf of every member of the Red Wolves Pack, I can’t say thank you enough times for the outpouring of support,” Wood said.  “It was incredible to get to be part of something so rewarding. I believe that all our members were encouraged and gained an even deeper motivation to help students in need.”

The university sponsor of the SPC, Director of Foundation and Corporate Engagement Jessica Blackburn, also gave credit to Madison Davis, the student director for the Student Emergency Fund, and her 52 SPC members for their work with peers and others on Giving Tuesday.

“This campaign was the student’s idea, and they worked hard to share through social media and other personal ways to get the word out that this was the ultimate opportunity for students to help students,” Blackburn said.  “We are all so proud of these student leaders and their dedication to ensuring that their fellow peers are supported through the Student Emergency Fund.”

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