For Third Consecutive Year, Arcadia Breaks UKnightedTuesday Fundraising Record

By Dan DiPrinzio | January 20, 2022
Printout for UKnightedTuesday 2021 depicting increases in funds raised

On Tuesday, Nov. 30, the Arcadia University community participated in the international celebration of philanthropy with its seventh UKnightedTuesday. With the support of 543 Arcadia alumni, faculty, staff, trustees, parents, and friends, UKnightedTuesday raised $484,049 for Arcadia and its students—charting the most successful day of giving in the history of Arcadia University.  
Held on the first Tuesday after the Thanksgiving holiday, UKnightedTuesday lasted a total of 1,853 minutes to honor the University’s founding year as well as its long history of distinction. Beginning at 6 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 30, and continuing until Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 12:53 p.m. EST., donors “UKnighted” in support of The Fund for ArcadiaThe Athletics FundThe Knights for Nutrition Food Pantry, the Gateway to Success Program, and the Mental Health First Aid Training Fund

Stronger Together 

“The success of UKnightedTuesday lies within the hearts of the members of our community,” said Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement, Brigette A. Bryant. “In just over 30 hours, the University received 582 contributions, ranging from $10 to $50,000. Together, we made a greater difference for Arcadia and its students than any one of us would have made alone; that is the power of philanthropy at work.” 
Designed to boost support and inspire others to join the celebration, several donors hosted UKnightedTuesday giving challenges. Through these challenges, incentive donors not only supported the areas and programs deemed most meaningful to them, but they also helped lead the charge toward a record high of $484,049. Giving challenges included: 

  • The Early Bird Challenge hosted by The Advisory Council for the Arcadia University Alumni Association 
  • The MAC Athletics Challenge 
  • The Class Reunion Challenge 
  • The Back-to-Back Challenge hosted by John D. Rollins, Chair, Board of Trustees 
  • The Mental Health Challenge hosted by Gretchen Santamour, Arcadia Trustee 
  • The First-Time Donor Challenge hosted by Nancy Glass 
  • The Paint the Map Challenge hosted by Ashish Parmar, Arcadia Trustee 
  • The Finish #ArcadiaStrong Challenge hosted by Alison Aaron Madsen, Esq. ’85, Immediate Past Chair, Board of Trustees 

Also at the heart of the UKnightedTuesday effort was a team of 56 UKnightedTuesday Ambassadors. Composed of alumni, faculty, and staff volunteers, Ambassadors made a gift, encouraged at least four friends to also make a gift, and shared their Arcadia pride through their personal and social networks during the 1,853 minutes of giving.  

Celebrating the Best of Arcadia 

The entire community was invited to a kickoff event, featuring President Ajay Nair and Vice President Bryant, who discussed the significance of philanthropy with Recent Graduate Trustee Margaret Lyons ’12 and University Advancement Student Ambassador Njambi Womack ’24.  
Through a series of questions, they addressed how financial support impacts Arcadia. “We’ve trained ourselves to believe that only the big gifts are important. That couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Bryant. “Frankly, The Fund for Arcadia is the most inclusive giving vehicle that we have. It accepts gifts of one dollar all the way up to $50,000, and every gift matters. What we’re actually looking for is a behavior in our alumni and in our community so that they give each and every year.”
The next day, In the highly-anticipated final 53 minutes of UKnightedTuesday, the community gathered for the culminating UKnightedTuesday Celebration. Centered in the iconic Grand Hall of Grey Towers Castle, Arcadia’s Knight Club dancers pumped up the crowd with their upbeat performances and Dr. Nair and Bryant addressed the audience with words of heartfelt gratitude. 
“UKnightedTuesday for me, is a reminder of how much power there is in this community,” said President Nair. “It’s a reminder of how much we believe in our students.”  
With all eyes locked on the $400,000 goal, Bryant announced several commitments from donors to punctuate the event, including Life Trustee, Rosemary Deniken Blankley ’57, ’06H; Arcadia President Dr. Ajay and Mrs. Paayal NairDr. Michael F. Rieders ’80; and Chair of the Board of Trustees, John D. Rollins and his wife, Trustee Emerita, Theresa P. Rollins.  
As the countdown to the end of 1,853 minutes approached zero, with confetti poppers at the ready and the music turned up, the University toasted to another year of UKnightedTuesday success. 

A Day of Gratitude 

Following UKnightedTuesday, over 100 Arcadia students, faculty, and staff participated in Arcadia’s first-ever Thank-a-Thon, writing thank you notes and special messages of gratitude to the donors who made UKnightedTuesday’s success possible. 
To learn more about UKnightedTuesday, check out