This post originally appeared on News@Northeastern. It was published by Ian Thomsen.

In a record result that exceeded all forecasts, Northeastern Giving Day generated more than $3 million as the university community supported and celebrated a variety of student causes with more than 7,500 donations. 

“The Northeastern community really got behind it,” said Catie Hsieh, senior associate director for leadership annual giving at Northeastern. “It was about everyone coming together to make such a big impact. And then the on-campus activities blew it out of the water.”

Despite chilly conditions on Thursday, students swarmed to Giving Day tables throughout the Boston campus to make donations, participate in activities, and take advantage of free food and prizes. Their spirit was mirrored online as Northeastern graduates and parents provided support to all kinds of student groups and organizations.

The fundraising windfall of $3,019,612 (via 7,565 donations) more than doubled the Northeastern record of $1.3 million that was set last year, when Giving Day was conducted virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gifts arrived from 29 countries, including Senegal, Nigeria, Thailand, Bermuda, Cambodia, and Jordan.

Though offerings of all amounts were welcome, the average donation was notably larger this year—driven in no small part by dozens of contributions of $5,000 or more from Northeastern graduates.

“We're seeing really deep loyalty among the alumni and the parents,” said Jennifer Gamache, assistant vice president for annual giving at Northeastern.

The Challenge of the Colleges turned into a back-and-forth, photo-finish race. The $30,000 first prize went to the D'Amore-McKim School of Business, whose 418 donors amounted to a 176.3% increase compared to 2021. The College of Science earned $10,000 for finishing a close second with 190 donors (a 175.9% gain).

“It was insane up to the last minute,” Gamache said. “We could see people going in and making gifts. D'Amore-McKim would inch over the top, and then we'd see the College of Science people making gifts to get the top position. Both were very seriously keeping track of the competition.”

D'Amore-McKim tallied more than $700,000 overall to win the $40,000 Dollar Up Challenge. 

More than 60 challenges benefited groups across the spectrum, including the LGBTQA Resource Center, Women Who Empower, Disability Resource Center, and Hillel.

Throughout the Boston campus, the spirit of Giving Day was fed by a desire to celebrate the abatement of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the advent of spring. Krentzman Quad at midday was like a carnival, as students listened to music while lining up for pretzels and ice cream sandwiches. They watched members of Northeastern's nationally-ranked Men's Ultimate Frisbee club surrender to pie-throwing in return for $5 donations.

“If we make nationals, that's going to be an expensive tournament,” said Dallon Archibald, a freshman studying computer science and business, whose ultimate frisbee team won the $5,000 Club Sports Challenge while raising $8,120 overall.

Archibald's hair was tinged with whipped cream after yielding to several thrown pies.

“At least it's tasty,” he said.

Sports organizations at the varsity and club levels helped drive Giving Day. At their table on Krentzman Quad, members of the Northeastern Figure Skating Club raised $1,920 to defray the costs of their beloved and expensive sport. 

“Donations to our team go toward lowering dues for our members,” said Annabel Devault, a fourth-year student in chemical engineering and biochemistry, who serves as vice president of membership for the skating club. “It means we'll be able to pay our coaches more—we don't pay them everything that they deserve. And it's about making sure that we can go to all of the competitions throughout the year.”

Two Ukrainian organizations raised funds to benefit Northeastern students as well as to provide humanitarian relief to Ukraine. 

“If we get 50 donors, then Northeastern is going to allocate $5,000 of financial aid to Ukraine students,” said Deanna Zawadiwsky, a fourth-year psychology and economics major who is president of Northeastern's Ukraine Cultural Club. That goal was met.  

At Snell Quad, players and coaches of the men's basketball team watched as coach Bill Coen recruited passersby to pelt him with colored bags in exchange for donations.

“I loved seeing all of the different varsity athletic teams getting splattered with ‘color bombs,'” Hsieh said. “It really showed the teams got into it. They were calling people out, it ended up being a team-building experience, and it was a really fun addition.”

Centennial Common was filled with students tie-dyeing white T-shirts, saying hello to King Husky, and lining up for sandwiches from The Sausage Guy.

“Students seemed to be really happy to be back on campus and have that sense of community again,” Hsieh said. “I'm sure alums and parents and all of the constituencies feel the same. They were doing something fun and getting back to normal.”

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