Turned the Campus Blue

In Support of Hartwick, We Turned the Campus Blue!

By Paula Lee Hobson, Vice President for College Advancement

As a newcomer to Hartwick, I am struck by how our alumni and donor community personifies the definition of True Blue: “unwavering in one’s commitment; extremely loyal.” This was particularly clear on National Philanthropy Day (December 3, 2019 – Giving Tuesday) when our new and continuing donors set a fundraising record of more than $204,000! What a blowout compared to the $36,640 raised on Giving Tuesday last year!

Giving Tuesday is a national movement that follows Thanksgiving and the shopping-focused Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. In contrast, Giving Tuesday celebrates philanthropy in all forms and sizes: charitable giving, volunteering, and sharing of expertise. The College community made our Giving Tuesday campaign about blue-infused fun, and 815 donors responded, representing alumni, students, faculty and staff, parents and grandparents, and friends.

Volunteers made all the difference. Trustee Sally Griffiths Herbert ’88 penned a letter of support asking others to join. Alumni Association Board member Katie Pennings Blydenburgh ’14 led her classmates in a set of videos. Our website featured drone footage of this gorgeous campus in fall and Brian Chandler Cook ’16 added his voice. Students and staff were decked out in their extreme blues; Theta Phi Alpha sorority won bragging rights as “Most Blue Group” with their photo submission.

Campus displays of our True Blue spirit and creativity were everywhere. Blue lighting outlined trees, the pergola, and Founder’s Way. Dining Services offered Blue Rice Krispy treats and blue fruit smoothies at a pop-up food station. Blue road salt lined our walkways and roads after an overnight snowfall. Donors wore blue “I WICK” stickers and President Margaret L. Drugovich P’12, faculty, staff, coaches, and retirees worked the celebrity phone bank. We staffed blue and white pop-up giving stations in Dewar and Golisano Halls, turned windows blue in historic Bresee Hall, and covered bulletin boards with blue messages about the impact of giving.

Technology also played a vital role. The College launched text-to-give software that made it fun, easy, and quick: 177 donors responded and texted HARTWICK to 71777. (Now a permanent option for all donors, text-to-give is available 24/7.) Alumni and staff created social and digital media content posts to share their stories—it was such fun to hear from them around the world!

Giving Tuesday was a great day with even greater impact. Supporters gave generously to the Hartwick Fund, athletic teams, student clubs, student scholarships, and Hartwick 225th anniversary strategic priorities. On behalf of our deserving students, thank you all for making such a difference in their
Hartwick experience.


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