Over just 24 hours on April 17, thousands of members of the College of the Holy Cross community came together in support of current and future Holy Cross students on the annual day of giving. Almost 4,000 alumni, students, parents and friends of Holy Cross participated in the effort, rallying around the idea of “The Power of Purple” and donating $2.47 million in support of today’s students.
The 2020 one-day challenge was originally planned to take place during Winter Homecoming weekend in January. After the tragic women’s rowing team accident, the College postponed the giving day and made alternate plans to launch the day in conjunction with the Holy Cross Alumni Association’s Holy Cross Cares Day in April. “Even though we had to cancel the in-person community service events, there is no doubt that our community responded with an outpouring of hope and showed that Holy Cross Cares,” said Mike Shanahan ’78, president of the Holy Cross Alumni Association.
With the impact of COVID-19, the giving day prioritized giving options focused on funds that directly support Holy Cross students and emergency needs. Options included the Holy Cross Fund, which supports all areas of the academic enterprise and the Holy Cross community; the Emergency Relief Fund, newly established to help meet the unanticipated travel, technology and emergency financial aid needs of students affected by the COVID-19 crisis; support for financial aid; Crusader Athletics Fund, which provides the flexibility needed to support student-athletes during this period of distance learning; and the Bishop Healy Emergency Fund, which assists ALANA students by creating a last resort safety net of funds for emergency expenses, including books and resources for classes, travel and other basic needs.
“We continue to see the tremendous value and impact of our volunteers who help make the case for support, connecting with their classmates and friends in very personal ways,” said Christene Riendeau, director of annual giving and volunteer engagement at the College. “And we’re enormously proud of the class of 2019 who had the most individual donors of any class. They understand that giving back is paying it forward.”
“We all know our alumni are living proof of the value of a Holy Cross education,” said Tracy Barlok, vice president for advancement. “This day of giving is such a testament to the power of the collective Holy Cross community – and a reminder of what it really means to be a Crusader – for and with others. This support helps ensure the success of generations of Holy Cross leaders to come. It gives us confidence that our students will take on whatever challenges may come in the future.”
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