Last week, hundreds of alumni and friends demonstrated their lasting support for the University of Redlands in a multitude of ways, from attending virtual events at Homecoming to making contributions during Giving Week.
First-ever Giving Week
In the days leading up to Homecoming, the University held its first-ever Giving Week, which raised over $284,600 from 293 donors.
“We are grateful for the generous outpouring of support for our University’s most critical funds, especially as the pandemic has continued to impact our campus community,” says Vice President for Advancement Tamara Josserand.
Each day concentrated on a different area, including student emergency needs, technology, health and wellness, diversity and inclusion, and scholarships. Donors made their gifts in a variety of ways, including online transfers and digital wallet platforms (e.g. Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal), mail, and phone.
All gifts to these areas were matched, thanks to several leadership donors. “These loyal supporters allowed the University to offer a compelling matching challenge for potential donors during Giving Week,” says Josserand. “We heard from individuals who chose to give because they knew their contributions could go farther thanks to the matching support they made possible, and ultimately that collective investment will directly help our students.”
First-ever virtual Homecoming
On Saturday, October 24, the University offered its first-ever virtual Homecoming. “We missed gathering in person on our beautiful campus, but we appreciated everyone embracing the new format and their enthusiastic participation,” says Shelli Stockton, director of alumni and community relations. “Even a pandemic couldn’t keep Bulldogs apart at Homecoming!”
With nearly 750 attendees across the 30 online sessions, the virtual nature of the event allowed some faraway Bulldogs to participate in the festivities for the first time. Stockton says the number of first-time attendees has reinforced the team’s commitment to making virtual options available in the future. Next year’s Homecoming is planned for October 22-24, 2021.
Among the most popular events was Redlands trivia on Facebook Live with Stockton and U of R Trustee and Director Emeritus of the A.K. Smiley Public Library Larry Burgess ’67, which was brought back by popular demand after the inaugural U of R trivia night earlier this year. The unveiling of Addie’s Homecoming Court winners on Instagram drew a crowd of 1,400 followers, after more than 100 proud owners submitted entries of costumed dogs, cats, and other pets vying for a spot alongside the U of R mascot.
Among the other offerings were special sessions for athletics (including basketball, football, and volleyball), clubs and organizations (including Greeks, Black Student Union, and Hillel), and schools and centers (including Johnston and the Schools of Business, Education, Music, and Theology). Vandra Lochridge ’97 attended four events throughout the day, including the Alpha Theta Phi virtual gathering of more than 80 actives and alumnae from across the country, including one alumna from New Zealand!
“Having a virtual event allowed people to attend who had never been able to make it back for Homecoming or hadn’t returned to campus in many years,” says Lochridge. “It was a great way for actives and alumnae to connect. We talked, we laughed, we sang, and a marvelous time was had by all!”
For more information about upcoming virtual events for alumni and friends, visit www.redlands.edu/alumni. And it’s not too late to make a gift—visit www.redlands.edu/givingweek.