Alumni and friends of University of the Cumberlands came out swinging on Pats Give Day on November 16. With $60,000 as the original goal for the 24-hour online event, the school was blown away by the generosity of the Cumberlands family, who gave $130,701 – more than twice the goal amount.
“As the hours passed and we saw the numbers keep climbing on Pats Give Day, all we could think was, ‘Wow. This is amazing,’” said Bill Stohlmann, vice president for the Office of Development at Cumberlands. “We did not anticipate this level of generosity and support. Our donors really united to help our students. It was an embodiment of our Cumberlands community – students, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends of the university – coming together as One Big Team.”
Chris Kraftick, athletic director at the university, added, “We are extremely grateful to everyone who supported our student-athletes on Pats Give Day. Athletics are not cheap, but they build character and create lasting relationships and memories in a way nothing else does. Our student-athletes are blessed to be at a school where they are so supported.”
Cumberlands hosted its first athletics giving event last year in conjunction with Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Donors gave more than 600 financial gifts to support student-athletes last year. The event was moved to November 16 this year so Cumberlands’ athletic teams and coaches could participate more heavily before the hectic schedules of the holidays began.
Stohlmann hopes that the momentum from Pats Give Day will carry over into Cumberlands Give Day in March. While Pats Give Day focused on raising funds for Cumberlands’ athletic programs, Cumberlands Give Day will focus on direct scholarship and academic support for university students. The event will last 24 hours and be hosted entirely online, enabling anyone with connections to the university to send their support to Cumberlands from anywhere. This will be the third annual Cumberlands Give Day.
“It is important for young people around the nation to know it is possible for them to afford a worthwhile college degree,” said Stohlmann. “They don’t have to go into huge debt, and they will have priceless opportunities to grow and strengthen their skills to be prepared for the workforce. Generosity from the Cumberlands community helps make all of that possible for current and future students.”
Donors have given to the university from all around the world during prior Give Days. Thanks to them, hundreds of students now have academic scholarships and other opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Alumni like Dr. Jennifer Knuckles, now a professor at Cumberlands, can relate.
“I was raised by a single mother,” she said. “I always knew I wanted to go to college, but I didn’t know it was a possibility. Cumberlands allowed me that possibility. I want to give to help students now have opportunities like the ones I was given.”
To learn more about University of the Cumberlands and how it is impacting students’ lives and the community, visit www.ucumberlands.edu.
All interested in impacting current and future Cumberlands students’ lives can visit www.ucumberlands.edu/give2uc to show their support.