As part of the celebration around the College of Charleston’s 250th anniversary, on Jan. 30, 2020, the College launched CofC Day, a 24-hour giving day aimed at generating excitement and support for the institution’s future. By midnight, CofC Day had raised more than $5 million, crushing the $1 million goal.
“January 30th was a historic day not only as the anniversary date of our founding in 1770, but also as a record-setting day for engagement and philanthropy,” says President Andrew T. Hsu. “I am so proud of and thankful to the College of Charleston community for their investment in this great university. Their gifts will make a difference in the lives of our students, faculty and staff for years to come.”
CofC Day kicked off at 12:01 a.m. with 16 giving challenges. Separately, the College’s sororities and fraternities participated in a Greek Life challenge, with Alpha Delta Pi coming out on top with the largest number of donors – 46 – and the greatest amount of contributions – $6,045.
One of the challengers, Catriona Carlisle ’90, called on young alumni to support the CofC Fund.
“My husband and I supported CofC Day in honor of the College’s history and impact it has made on lives for the past 250 years,” says Carlisle. “Our hope for the challenge gift was to inspire young alumni to join in the College’s celebration on January 30th by making a donation and helping Make.History.Here.”
Carlisle’s expectations were exceeded when more than 150 young alumni from classes 2009–2019 contributed to the CofC Fund, which unlocked her donation of $1,500.
In addition to 10 people including the College in their estate plans on CofC Day, two new scholarships were created along with numerous contributions to existing scholarships.
The day had 1,326 faculty, staff, alumni and students make gifts to the College, representing a record-breaking number of donors for any given drive. In addition to online solicitations, 80 members of the College community made calls from the Cougar Call Center, including President Hsu, School of Humanities and Social Sciences Interim Dean Gibbs Knotts and Honors College Dean Trisha Folds-Bennett. A total of 16 CofC Alumni Clubs hailing from as far as London, England, celebrated CofC Day and raised $36,179.20 for their alma mater.
The CofC Day headquarters on Cistern Yard had a constant stream of visitors who came to donate, play games and collect CofC swag. At noon, about 400 students came for pizza, leading to a line spilling out onto George Street.
CofC Day was a collaborative process from start to finish and demonstrates what can be accomplished when alumni, faculty, staff and students come together. Of course, having President Hsu’s support and engagement from the start of the day handing out donuts to students on Cougar Mall to playing drums with AFISHAL at the student party that night, served as an inspiration to the CofC community and contributed greatly to the day’s success.
And, this is only the beginning. CofC Day marked the launch of a yearlong drive to celebrate the College’s 250th anniversary. Throughout 2020, look for more information about plans to invest in the future of the College by improving the campus experience for students, faculty, staff and the greater community.