Trinity Community Shatters 1869 Challenge Goals | Trinity University
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Trinity Community Shatters 1869 Challenge Goals

Sunday, November 11, 2018
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University’s annual fundraising campaign raises more than half a million dollars.

by Carla Sierra

Trinity’s community of students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and University supporters raised $526,365 in 31 hours. That's right: On average, Tigers donated more than $250 per minute to this year's 1869 Challenge. On top of that Trinity shattered its goal of 1,869 gifts in 1,869 minutes—the University received nearly 2,900 gifts. Every gift made a difference in helping the University break records.

The 1869 Challenge was previously called the 24-Hour Challenge and was renamed for Trinity’s founding year.

Tigers Key to Unlocking Big Funds for Scholarships
 Fifty thousand dollars for student scholarships were up for grabs if 1,869 gifts were made. Not only did the Tiger community unlock that extra $50,000—they snagged an additional $20,180 when an anonymous group of donors upped the ante to 2,018 gifts. In total, Tigers unlocked $70,180 for student scholarships!  
 
Record-Breaking Student Gifts Banish Tuttle to the Tower
The gauntlet was thrown down during the 1869 Challenge when Trinity students learned that for every gift they made, David Tuttle, associate vice president for Student Life and dean of students, would have to spend one minute in the Murchison Tower. And it got better from there—once $1,500 was raised, he would have to spend the night there.
 

Tuttle’s message to students was simple: “I give to Trinity because I believe in Trinity, and I want our students to believe in Trinity too. Some of our students are here, many of them, because of gifts from other people, so of course we want students to know… they’re not giving to me, they’re giving to future generations,” he says.

David Tuttle sleeping in the tower

Not only were students the catalysts for helping to lock Tuttle up, it was a student who gave the 1,869th gift, crushing the 1869 Challenge’s goal.In all, students made 554 gifts, an increase of 248 percent, raising $9,444, an increase of 833 percent over the prior year’s total donation of $1,012 through 159 gifts.

Athletic Teamwork Makes the Dream Work for Varsity Challenge
There’s nothing like teamwork to help win any sports rivalry—especially with$3,000 at stake for the winning team. Tiger athletes showed their prowess via a Twitter war, through engaging and viral videos, and parodies that all drove this unusual sporting event into the final hours of the night.

From the teams vying for the victory bucks, it was volleyball who got the extra three grand and took the number one position by raising an $19,261. Men’s soccer came in second place with $15,955.60; and football in third with $15,236.50. Varsity athletics raised a whopping $129,260 total.

Legacy of Charisma and Experience are Key to Grissom Scholarship Success
There’s a lot to be said for charisma, especially when it comes to Trinity’s grand dame of teaching and administration, Coleen Grissom. In honor of 58 years of service to the University, the challenge called for a minimum of 58 gifts of at least $58 for the Coleen Grissom Endowed Scholarship Fund, with an additional $1,000 up for grabs once the challenge was met. In a testament to her colorful personality, there were 164 gifts totaling $24,149!
 
Other Challenges
Nothing was out of reach when it came to giving where it mattered most during the challenge. The following six additional contests helped impact the overall figures:
  • Parent Challenges 604 gifts totaling $112,952.
  • Howland, Eggen, and Pitts Fellowship for Student Summer Research: 49 gifts totaling $26,986.
  • Michael C. Kearl Endowed Scholarships for Aspiring Sociologists: 63 gifts totaling $13,639.
  • Student Organization Giving Challenge: 644 gifts totaling $18,178. The top three student organizations were:
    • Tigers for Liberty
    • Mock Trial Club
    • Loon-E-Crew