On Nov. 29, Arcadians around the world joined together to be counted and to show their support for the University they love so dearly.
The second annual UKNIGHT 1 Day of Giving, a campaign supporting graduate and undergraduate programs, scholarships, and study abroad, smashed its goal of 700 donors with a record 1,010 supporters in a 24-hour period. The event was part of the worldwide Giving Tuesday, a day of charitable giving formed in response to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and resulted in an extraordinarily positive show of support by students, alumni, trustees, faculty, staff, community members, and friends of Arcadia University.
“It was wonderful to see such an outpouring of support by so many members of the global Arcadia University community,” said President Nicolette DeVille Christensen. “This shows the strength of the collective power of Arcadia pride. To unite around the globe for a common cause, the support of Arcadia University students, is so very heartwarming. With this assistance, Arcadia can continue to offer the unique academic and international programs for which we are known.”
UKNIGHT 1 Day of Giving is focused on community participation, not dollars. The number of donors was tracked live online using the hashtag #OneArcadiaU, with anonymous alumnae donors contributing additional “challenge gifts” totaling $11,000. Collectively, the Arcadia community donated $51,190 to The Fund for Arcadia.
"I gave to UKNIGHT 1 Day because I appreciate all the University has given me so far," said Amara O'Connell ’19. "I love that this helps the Arcadia community grow, and that it gives more students the opportunities to further their education. Events like this make our community stronger."
All facets of the University community were represented and showed strong Arcadia support. Impressively, the University counted 416 student participants, which is twice the level of strong student participation from last year’s UKNIGHT 1 Day of Giving, thanks to a special Presidential Student Challenge from Dr. Nicolette DeVille Christensen to match student contributions dollar for dollar. The Board of Trustees and all members of the Executive Leadership team had 100 percent participation rates, with many departments across campus, including Public Safety, Facilities, and Parkhurst Dining participating in high numbers. Also, the Department of Athletics and student-athletes provided tremendous support throughout the 24-hour period, with coaches making personal videos and squads gathering for team photos.
“We are proud of our Beaver College experience,” wrote Clint Stetler ’93 and Kristin Ellis Stetler ’92 on the donation thread. “We both received a wonderful education and made lifelong friends with whom we still keep in touch. Thanks for everything you have done in our lives, including introducing us to each other.”
The campaign kicked off at midnight, when The College of Global Studies’ centers around the world began contributing to The Fund for Arcadia and building momentum through social media posts. Members of the Arcadia community from Los Angeles to New York and from Rome to Mumbai joined in the day by sending donations and messages to the campus to show their support.
The UKNIGHT 1 Day of Giving, and the weeks leading up to it, included plenty of fun: Faculty and staff were featured in humorous promotional memes, they served as event ambassadors to rally departments, they shared AUber rides with participants, and one enthusiastic faculty member held a Hug Station. The University’s mascot, the Knight, kept a presence around campus and posed for photos with several community members.
Contributors on campus donated online or in-person at various activity stations throughout the day, including the ‘AUber’ golf cart ride service, which transported students to class. With the help of nearly 60 social media ambassadors consisting of alumni, students, and parents, in addition to the support from the Arcadia Alumni Association, the #OneArcadiaU hashtag use continued to generate buzz throughout the day on social media.
The Fund for Arcadia supports student scholarships, international education opportunities such as Preview and FYSAE programs, student clubs and activities, faculty and student research, and undergraduate and graduate academics. It provides a pool of resources ready to be used as needs arise and often makes much-needed scholarships or academic opportunities possible.
"We give to spotlight our students, who inspire the faculty and learn that they are capable of even more than they dreamed,” said Dr. Ana Maria García, associate professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice and president of Faculty Senate. "By uniting across the globe, we manifest our commitment to Arcadia at home and abroad and ensure that our students and faculty are citizens without borders."