“We’re incredibly grateful that our donors responded to the call this year in record numbers. They definitely showed that together, we are Mason.” —Trishana Bowden, Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Relations
George Mason University held its 5th annual Giving Day on Thursday, April 8. Giving Day is the one-day virtual rally that invites all Mason supporters—alumni, friends, volunteers, faculty, staff, and students—to come together to make a difference for their university.
United by the theme, “Together, we are Mason,” more than 2,300 donors—including more than 400 faculty and staff members—contributed a record total surpassing $544,000 towards dozens of different causes.
These totals will surely go up over the next several days, as some late-arriving gifts continue to be counted. “Giving Day is a moment every year to focus on the importance of philanthropy at our university and to express appreciation to our generous donors,” said vice president of advancement and alumni relations Trishana Bowden. “We’re incredibly grateful that our donors responded to the call this year in record numbers. They definitely showed that together, we are Mason.”
Every Mason school and unit is involved in the 24-hour effort, with donors choosing where they’d like to direct their gift from among many worthy causes. Student assistance and career readiness, supported by hundreds of donors, were two major priorities of the day. Here are a few highlights:
- Donors contributed more than $6,600 to support student unpaid internships through the Career Readiness Fund, encouraged by an additional $5,000 match from members of the Alumni Association board.
- The College of Humanities and Social Sciences raised more than $35,000 from 70 donors for the CHSS Scholarship Fund.
- The Green Machine Ensembles raised more than $16,000 to purchase new jerseys for pep band members, so that students don’t have to bear that cost themselves, as well as nearly $9,000 towards the purchase of a new truck to haul around its instruments and gear.
- Supporters of Mason athletics demonstrated exemplary spirit, with 565 donors contributing a total of more than $200,000, including a $10,000 gift from alumni-athletes Dan and Patty Wotring. The Friends of Wrestling led the way with an impressive 230 donors. Many of those gifts are part of the Athletics Department’s annual alumni-athlete giving challenge, which attracts support from hundreds of former Mason athletes.
With the limitations preventing in-person gatherings, much of the campaign played out online and on social media, where Patriot enthusiasm was widespread. As one example, a Giving Day promotional video, “Patriot Hugs,” was viewed more than 5,000 times.
Most importantly, the true goal of Giving Day was met: to encourage every member of Mason Nation to show their pride and support for each other.
April 13, 2021 / Rob Riordan