April 29, 2016, BY Christina Masciere Wallace

Bucky and students saying thank you.

Unlock the magic.

That was the Bucknell Board of Trustees' challenge to supporters on April 28 in the University's 2016 one-day giving event. By midnight, 4,415 Bucknellians stepped up, breaking participation records and making this challenge the most successful yet in bringing together alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends.  

Their gifts indeed unlocked the magic that is a Bucknell education, releasing challenge funds and benefiting students in every part of the University — from academics to athletics, financial aid to residence life.  

Online and by phone, Bucknellians kept the momentum going throughout the day. The Student Calling Program team fired up the phone banks at 7 a.m., reaching out to Bucknellians overseas. Social media buzzed with photos, videos and updates about #bucknellmagic, thanks to a global network of Bucknell volunteers.  

When the dust settled, Bucknellians had given $1,451,780, and the challenge funds from the trustees brought the grand total to $1,776,780. (All numbers are preliminary. Final results will be calculated by July 15.)  

Two challenges — and two surprises  

There were two ways for donors to unlock the magic for students. First, the trustees offered $150,000 in funds to be shared by approved challenge designations according to percentage of gifts received.

Second, for every 1,000 supporters who made a gift, the trustees gave $25,000 to financial aid — up to $100,000.  

But a surprise challenge announced at 4 p.m. EST added a new twist: An anonymous trustee pledged an additional $50,000 toward financial aid if 3,000 donors made gifts by 8 p.m. That goal was met by 5:30 p.m.  

The momentum inspired a second trustee to offer another challenge at 8 p.m.: $25,000 for financial aid if the total number of donors exceeded 4,000. In WE DO spirit, Bucknellians passed that marker by 9:30 p.m., bringing in a total of $175,000 in challenge money for financial aid — the University's top priority.

"Once again the Bucknell community has responded, and in record fashion," said Scott Rosevear, vice president of development & alumni relations. "We so appreciate the Board of Trustees' support of the Giving Challenge, and for the dedication of our staff, student callers and volunteers. But at the end of the day, we want to thank all of our alumni, parents and friends who chose to make a philanthropic commitment to Bucknell."

The Magic of Your Support