On Tuesday, Dec. 3, St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) employees and students gathered around the first floor of the Campus Center and on the Campus Center Patio to partake in the festivities of Giving Tuesday–a global day of giving which was started in 2012. The SMCM Giving Tuesday website describes the day as the “kick-off of the charitable season,” falling on the Tuesday directly following Thanksgiving and Black Friday each year, motivating people to become involved in charitable events throughout the holiday season.
Since it was established as an SMCM tradition in 2014, Giving Tuesday has raised over $600,000 to support students, staff and faculty across campus. The goal for this year’s event was to receive donations from at least 1,203 donors, correlating with the date upon which this year’s Giving Tuesday fell. This year, donations provided on Giving Tuesday amounted to over $375,000, fueling the funding of various sports teams, clubs and academic departments.
The largest donation came from SMCM professor of economics, Don Stabile, Ph.D., who donated $140,000 after each of his goals were met. President Tuajuanda C. Jordan, Ph.D., in her school-wide thank you, remarked, “Will we ever find enough words to thank our very own Professor Don Stabile?” Dr. Stabile agreed to donate $100,000 if the goal of 1,203 donors was met by the end of the day, and also agreed to donate an extra $40,000–in honor of his 40th anniversary at SMCM–if $4,000 of donations were made within a four hour window.
Other sizeable donations came from Jeanne Brady (’88) and Jack Saum (’89), who donated $10,000 after reaching the goal of 100 donors between the hours of 12:03 p.m. and 1:03 p.m. Another donation of $10,000 dollars was from President Jordan, who donated to the St. Mary’s Fund. Secretary of the SMCM Foundation Board of Directors, Susan Paul and Professor Emeritus of Biology Bob Paul, Ph.D., also donated $10,000 after reaching the goal of 100 new donors between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Each athletic team and many of the campus clubs participated in the Alumni Council Challenge, creating videos of 60 seconds or less promoting their organization. Viewers then watched and voted for their favorite video. The five student clubs and five varsity athletic teams with the most votes at the end of Giving Tuesday win between $250 and $3,000, which can be put towards funding for that organization.
Aside from manning the phones and computers throughout the day, SMCM staff and students enjoyed delicious treats, including donuts, hot dogs, s’mores and hot chocolate as they chatted on the Campus Center Patio and made donations. Director of Alumni Relations Dave Sushinsky (’02) explained, “We’ve found a way to make giving fun. By highlighting our students through the Facebook Live sessions and Alumni Council Challenge videos, donors can see exactly who’s benefiting from their support.”
President Jordan stated, “this Giving Tuesday was another fine example of how our St. Mary’s College community comes together to do what we do best – make a difference in students’ todays and tomorrows.” Next year, SMCM students, staff and alumni will return once again to Campus Center with the goal of beating the 2019 results. “I am already looking forward to next year,” said Sushinsky.