Giving Day 2021 at the University of Mississippi, April 13-14, will bring together students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to support academic and athletics programs through an online, social media-driven campaign.
“We are better together – and together with our generous donors and friends, we can make a positive and powerful impact for Ole Miss students, for our state and for our future,” Chancellor Glenn Boyce said. “Giving Day offers an energetic, fun opportunity for everyone to match their passions with more than 24 compelling projects for students, academic programs and athletics.”
The second Ole Miss Giving Day will launch at 9 a.m. April 13 and last 1 day, 8 hours and 48 minutes, in honor of the university’s founding year of 1848. The campaign goals include attracting gifts of all sizes for participating schools, colleges and programs, and encouraging even more people to become engaged in exciting developments at the university.
Charlotte Parks, vice chancellor for development, said she believes Giving Day illustrates the potential that can be unlocked when the Ole Miss family works together to provide more opportunities.
“The Ole Miss family supports projects that make a real difference,” she said. “These gifts help ensure we offer exceptional educational opportunities and pursue innovative teaching and research.
“We look forward to the entire Ole Miss family getting swept up in this exciting Giving Day campaign.”
The inaugural Giving Day in 2019 secured 1,053 gifts totaling $542,990, and the 2020 campaign was refocused on raising crucial funds to assist students who had great needs brought on by COVID-19. Leading all these initiatives is Maura Langhart, director of annual giving in the Office of University Development.
“Alumni and friends always enjoy seeing Ole Miss shine,” she said. “Giving Day gives us the opportunity to come together and celebrate our incredible university, making investments that will prepare the university for the next generation of Rebels.
“Giving Day is a vibrant, fast-paced campaign for the Ole Miss family to see how we can make a difference together, as we share real-time results of this campaign. We’re asking our stakeholders to look at our projects and consider supporting them with gifts.
“Funds raised will support academic, career, athletics and outreach programs to transform individual lives, communities and the world. Individuals can learn much about our initiatives and needs by visiting the Giving Day website.”
Throughout the online event, different challenges will be in place from donors hoping to inspire others to give back. For example, Traute and Jim Langmesser of Woodbridge, Virginia, have committed a $2,000 gift to the University Libraries, if 25 people make gifts of any size to support the libraries.
All challenge gifts will be posted on the Ole Miss Giving Day website, appealing to those who want to see their gift multiplied in value.
“The pandemic dampened the enthusiasm that comes from having large crowds of cheering fans at our events, but nothing could ever dampen the Ole Miss spirit,” said Keith Carter, vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics. “Donors have continued to be deeply committed to our student-athletes and programs.
“Ole Miss teams are exceeding all expectations right now, and our fans are welcoming the opportunity to be together again. The university continues to pursue ambitious initiatives across all areas of campus, and it will take the whole community partnering with us to fund resources for scholarships, faculty support, technology, athletics, facilities and service opportunities.”
Not only do gifts to the university transform the lives of students, but one study illustrated the effect of Ole Miss on Mississippi’s economy. The annual economic impact totals $2.9 billion and enables 43,121 jobs across the state, which means that one of every 37 jobs is supported by the activities of the university and its students.
Supporters can visit http://www.umfoundation.com/GivingDay to make a tax-deductible gift to Ole Miss. Pre-event gifts will be the first names on the donor wall, unless donors desire anonymity.
In addition, everyone is encouraged to spread the word with the hashtag #OleMissGivingDay on all social media platforms. Those who enjoy social media are encouraged to sign up as Giving Day influencers at https://givingday.olemiss.edu. The university will provide influencers with everything needed to post on the platforms of their choice.
For more information on Giving Day, contact Maura Langhart at email@example.com or 662-915-2760.
By Tina H. Hahn