Once again, the power of the Bennie and Johnnie networks was made clear through the record amount of dollars raised for scholarships during this year’s Give CSB Day and Give SJU Day events.
Give CSB Day was held on Oct. 11th and Give SJU Day took place this past Wednesday (Nov. 15). Both institutions had record-breaking campaigns with CSB raising a total of $597,268 and SJU finishing at a total of $846,237.
CSB ended with 935 gifts from 850 donors - 692 from across the U.S. and the rest from elsewhere around the world -- surpassing the goal that had been set entering the day. Thanks to a generous group of matching donors and President Brian J. Bruess, Ph.D. and his wife Carol’s contribution of a Presidential Match in the evening, CSB was able to exceed the old mark for dollars raised.
Maggie Weber Utsch ’00, CSBs director of annual giving, said many departments, clubs and organizations partnered to help make the day so successful. The school continues to see support for student organizations as donors find joy in personalizing their philanthropy.
“Our constituents see the impact they have when they give to initiatives that directly support transformational work on campus,” Utsch said. “Not only will these generous contributions impact student and departmental work, but the impact current scholarships have on our students can be life-changing. We want to provide opportunities for Bennies regardless of their socioeconomic status, and we can do that by growing the number of scholarships we can award. Give CSB Day amplifies our community’s commitment to Saint Ben’s students. And for that, I am so grateful.
“I was once that Bennie who relied on scholarships to attend CSB, and this special day each year is a testament to those who believe in a Saint Ben’s education.”
On Give SJU Day, a total of 1,498 donors contributed - an increase over last year’s 1,443. Donors came from all 50 states -- once again unlocking a $10,000 gift from an anonymous alumnus.
A big boost was provided by Joe Deignan ’95, who offered a generous challenge gift of $100,000 if the total number of donors reached 1,400. Once more, Brian and Carol Bruess issued a Presidential Challenge, agreeing to contribute $10,000 if another 100 donors contributed - a goal which was met.
Led by Deignan, the class of 1995 topped the leaderboard with a total of $103,425 raised. In terms of total donors, the class of 1983 ranked first with 49 for a total of $33,050. The class of 1979 was close behind with 48 donors contributing a total of $26,455. The class of 1991 had 41 donors for a total of $31,945.
A total of 74 class-specific matches and challenges were received in all.
“I’m really proud of setting a Give SJU Day record for dollars raised, along with increasing our donor total from last year,” said Ted Kain ’12, SJU’s director of annual giving. “We all know the cost-of-living is higher and groceries cost more. But our alumni, parents and friends continue to stand up for Saint John’s and give what they can.”
Give CSB Day and Give SJU Day mark the biggest giving days of the year when it comes to supporting scholarships at the two schools. But gifts can always be made to Give Saint Ben’s and to the SJU Student Fund.