Inaugural event will move the university forward in discovery and scholarship
Gators across the globe are being asked to rally for a national day of giving this winter to support the University of Florida and the people it serves. The university’s inaugural “Stand Up and Holler: Gator Nation Giving Day” is Tuesday, Feb. 26, from midnight EST to 11:59 p.m. PST. The daylong campaign is named in recognition of the beloved Gator football game cheer made famous by George Edmondson Jr., better known on campus as “Mr. Two Bits.”
The goal is 5,000 gifts of any size made that day from alumni, students, parents, professors and staff members, as well as other friends of the university. Such a response would place UF’s giving day among the most successful ever in higher education for a single day campaign in its first year. It will also further boost the university’s current eight-year, $3 billion Go Greater campaign.
“I’m thankful to the Gator Nation for helping to drive UF’s rise among the very best of public universities,” said UF President Kent Fuchs. “Giving Day adds one more way for Gators everywhere to pitch in and together move UF even higher.”
Donations made during the social media-driven mini-campaign can be designated to the university programs and projects of donors’ choosing or used to support UF’s greatest needs. Gifts of all sizes are appreciated, but the minimum that can be processed is $1. Gifts from alumni with bachelor’s degrees are especially important because alumni contribution rates are considered when determining overall national rankings.
“As Gators, it’s in our DNA to stand up for our university whenever and however we’re called to do so. ‘Sticking together in all kinds of weather’ aren’t just words in a song for us; it’s who we are as The Gator Nation,” said Matt Hodge, executive director of the UF Alumni Association. “We believe that together, anything is possible — including 5,000 gifts in a single day.”
Many alumni groups around the country will host events that day. “Gator Nation Giving Day is about more than philanthropy,” said John Thornton, president of the Gator Club of Miami, which will hold a reception at the UF Coral Gables Center. “Rather, it’s the best representation of the family we all become upon graduation. It’s about never forgetting where we came from, and it’s about appreciating where we are now. On Giving Day, your gift supports everything for which The Gator Nation stands.”
The 166-year-old University of Florida has a long history of established programs in international education, research and service, and is one of only 17 public, land-grant universities in the prestigious Association of American Universities. It is ranked No. 8 in the most recent U.S. News and World Report’s list of public universities.
The University of Florida’s mission is to prepare our students to lead and influence the next generation and beyond for economic, cultural and societal benefit. Recognized as among the top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report, UF is one of the nation’s largest public universities, and is the only member of the Association of American Universities in Florida. Teaching, research and scholarship, and service span all of the UF’s academic disciplines and represent its commitment to be a premier university that the state, nation and world look to for leadership.