UF’s most successful Giving Day brings in over 26,000 gifts in 24 hours.
A school record 26,052 gifts from Gators across the globe were received by the University of Florida during its 24-hour “Stand Up and Holler: Gator Nation Giving Day” on Feb. 17. Contributions from thousands of alumni, students and others on that day will boost scholarships, enhance academic programs and support outreach projects that benefit families and communities.
Now in its fourth year, “Stand Up and Holler” is credited as a significant contributor to UF’s climb last fall into the Top 5 of public universities. Alumni giving is one of the benchmarks U.S. News and World Report uses to calculate its annual rankings. UF’s annual giving day is among the most successful in academia, and has created the opportunity for all Gators to invest in the university.
Funds raised during the annual “Stand Up and Holler” event have also contributed to the success of the university’s $3 billion Go Greater campaign. The eight-year campaign — the most ambitious in UF’s history and one of the largest ever in higher education — has raised more the $3.6 billion, with roughly six months remaining. Gators gave $20.2 million during this year’s giving day.
“I’m so grateful to the members of the UF community, and to our alumni and friends, for their love and devotion to UF,” UF President Kent Fuchs said. “Whether giving generously so that our professors and students have every opportunity to succeed, cheering for UF student athletes or proudly showing their pride by wearing the orange and blue, they are making amazing things happen for this university and its positive influence on people and their lives.”
Gators from 12 countries and every state participated in this year’s giving day. Among this year’s highlights:
- The College of Journalism and Communications received 4,177 gifts — the most of all individual colleges; while the $6 million raised by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was the single largest amount. Another big winner was UF Athletics, with 3,632 gifts for $3.8 million.
- 92 Gator Clubs and alumni association affiliate groups, stretching from Seattle to Key West, combined for 3,330 gifts and more than $167,000. The Gator Band Alumni Association’s 575 gifts for $40,562 were the most of all clubs and affiliates.
- While by far most contributions came from within the United States, five donations were from Australia, and two each from Japan, China, Canada and Bermuda.
Funds raised support an array of programs and projects, such as treatments for children at UF Health Shands hospital, scholarships for first-generation students, a campus food pantry, UF Performing Arts community outreach, and collections at the Smathers Libraries.
“There’s an unquestionable correlation between UF’s rise to the Top 5 and ‘Stand Up and Holler.’ When alumni, students and friends show that kind of passion for their university, UF is unstoppable,” said Brian Danforth, the UF Alumni Association’s executive director. “One of the reasons UF is a great university is because of the heartfelt support of the Gator Nation.”
UF’s annual giving day is named “Stand Up and Holler” as a tribute to the beloved Gator football game cheer made famous by George Edmondson Jr., better known to fans as “Mr. Two Bits.” Edmondson’s iconic orange-and-blue striped necktie is used as a symbol to promote the campaign, with replicas as long as 30 feet strategically placed throughout the UF campus.