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Donors give more than $3.2 million in 24 hours on sixth-annual One Day. One KU.

February 17, 2023

A chill may have filled the air in Lawrence on Feb. 16, but the warm spirit of Jayhawks worldwide made the sixth-annual One Day. One KU. giving day an inspiring success.

The 24-hour event raised a total of $3,219,345 from 4,740 gifts. These gifts will support people, programs and initiatives across all five KU campuses: Lawrence, the Edwards Campus in Overland Park, and medical branches in Kansas City, Wichita and Salina, along with The University of Kansas Health System.

Match and challenge gifts were a key factor in the success of this giving day. Donors created more than 130 challenges and matches to spread awareness and further the impact of their gift.

A few of the leadership matches-challenges included:

  • Chancellor Douglas A. Girod and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer’s challenge encouraging gifts of any amount to support the Jayhawk Student Support Fund was met. The 50 gifts needed were contributed, unlocking $10,000 for students in need.
  • KU Alumni Association President Heath Peterson and Carrie Peterson matched $1,000 in gifts to the KU Alumni Association.
  • Executive Vice Chancellor Robert Simari and Kelly Simari matched $5,000 in gifts to the Thrive Food Pantry to provide essential resources to the KU Medical Center community.

Programs across all campuses participated in the department challenge. The four programs that rose to the top of the leaderboard were Monarch Watch, Kansas Athletics, the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and scholarships for students.

Monarch Watch, a program dedicated to sustaining monarch butterfly habitat restoration, migration and research led with 390 individual gifts. The Director’s Match for KU Professorship in support of Monarch Watch was successfully met, with thanks to Chip and Toni Taylor and generous Monarch Watch donors. The fund will assist in securing the future of the program and bring in a new leader to carry Monarch Watch forward.

Gifts to Athletics totaled 342, fueled by Athletic Director Travis Goff’s family challenge. Student-athlete mental health and wellness is a primary focus for Athletics, and One Day. One KU. donations will support their overall well-being.

The Charles A. Garney Alzheimer’s Opportunity Fund has been one of the most successful areas during the last few giving days. This year, KU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center received 302 gifts. The funds will aid deeper research and helping families affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

Scholarships for students are essential to helping Jayhawks attain their educational goals. Thanks to 272 gifts and three successful challenges from generous alumni, more students will have the resources needed to prosper at KU.

“Every gift makes a difference, whether it is $5, $500 or $5,000. Reaching out and making a statement is what matters,” said Chancellor Douglas Girod. “The collective power of the Jayhawk community is hugely impactful, and One Day. One KU. has grown every year. It is very exciting to be part of the day as people think about their connection to KU and supporting areas across our university.”

Ambassadors and their networks played a vital role in this year’s giving day, bringing in more than $240,000 from nearly 1,200 gifts made on One Day. One KU. through emails, social media and texts. Their efforts showed in year six with more than 350 ambassadors supporting giving day in 2023.

One Day. One KU. brings the KU community together to transform the university in meaningful ways,” said KU Endowment President Dan Martin. “The strength of this day is built on personal acts of generosity from Jayhawks around the world. We are so appreciative of the loyal donors who displayed their support and commitment on this year’s giving day. It is inspiring what we can do in 24 hours when everyone unites.”

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

Posted on
February 17, 2023
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Michelle Keller
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