By: Marissa Grimsley – Staff Writer
While some celebrated February with flowers and chocolates for Valentine’s Day, the University of Dayton celebrated “I Love UD” month by overcoming their 2,800 gift goal to raise money for student scholarships.
Danna Grant, the executive director of advancement relations, said the scholarships help students who cannot afford UD continue their education at the university.
Grant said donations from alumni surpassed this year’s campaign goals.
“Our goal was 2,800 gifts this year and we received 4,416. People were calling up until midnight on the last day, Feb. 28, to give. Plus the bulk of what was given was given in the last 48 hours,” she said.
Grant said they set their goals high last year, and were pleased with the results this year.
“Last year we received 3,016 gifts and this year surpassed that by almost 1,400. It was very exciting for us,” she said.
Throughout February, “I Love UD” month encouraged students to show their school spirit with weekly themes including community, faith, Flyer pride and favorite UD memories.
“I Love UD” month was founded not just for the replenishment of the scholarship, but for more alumni involvement. Grant said the month was founded when alumni voiced their desire to be involved in the University.
Last year, the university received more than $1.7 million donated through 3,016 gifts in February, according to UD’s website.
“We are looking at building a relationship with our alumni and the month was what it is all about. We have 34 alumni chapters and each are asked to do a service project once a year. They all did their service project in February for I Love UD,” Grant said.
Grant said I Love UD t-shirts were distributed around campus this year, but they ended up all over the world.
“Five thousand t-shirts were given out, not just to students and faculty, but to alumni and all over the world,” Grant said. “It was interesting to see the different countries that the t-shirts ended up in. We got 305 pictures on Instagram of people in their t-shirts promoting the month all around the world.”
The campaign also generated 991 new likes on Facebook and 15,843 views on YouTube of “I Love UD” videos, according to the campaign website.
In the first year of the campaign, the “I Love UD” Facebook page gained 4,202 followers and recorded 910 tweets with the hashtag #ILoveUD, according to the website.
Grant said advancement relations teamed up with Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow to assist with events.
Patrick Doyle, a sophomore psychology major and sophomore class committee chair for STAT, said the organization was excited to partner with Advancement Relations to promote “I Love UD” month.
“We sat down and planned events for the month. STAT staffed the events and we set up the interview with Fox 45,” Doyle said. “There were events like PDA Day on Valentines day, which was where we gave out pins that said “I Love UD,” and then there was break up date, where students could bring other college t-shirts and trade them for an I love UD t-shirt.”
Junior psychology major Ellen Snyder said this month is all about the benefitting of the students.
“I think it’s great what they are doing for the students,” Snyder said. “If the alumni have the money and are willing to donate it to keep students in school then that is great of them.”
Nikki Srivastava, sophomore criminal justice and political science major, said this month is just about appreciation for our school.
“For me it is about appreciating my school and caring about how my school gives back to not just me. It’s about enjoying the community,” Srivastava said.
Grant said although the university was celebrated more in February, the community should celebrate it all year round.
“We are looking to keep it going throughout the year. We are building upon the idea that “I Love UD” was founded on: service. We will keep planning events throughout the year, they just won’t be called “I Love UD” month events,” Grant said.