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Parent Giving Challenge

1,313 Minutes. $131,313. Incredible impact.
Thank you – $373,575 raised in the parent giving challenge.

Challenge Results

Parents rise to the challenge on Colgate Day

Friday, April 13, 2018 was an incredible day for students and the university, thanks to the generosity of Colgate parents.

In honor of Colgate Day, a parent issued this challenge: if Colgate parents gave a total of $131,313 in 1,313 minutes, the challenger would contribute a matching $131,313 gift.

Colgate parents enthusiastically rose to the challenge. Individuals made hundreds of gifts to the programs on campus that were most meaningful to their families, and their contributions totaled more than the required amount by the deadline — the challenger’s gift was secured!

But as the challenge drew to a close, another challenger came forward, offering a $50,000 gift if parents contributed another $50,000 before the end of the day! Colgate parents again stepped up and secured this significant gift, bringing the total amount raised that day to a whopping $373,575.

An Immediate Impact for Colgate Students

Through this one day of giving, parents were able to make a difference that will be felt by students right away, and in the near future. Favorite designations of parents who gave during this challenge were the Colgate Fund, the Colgate Athletics Council, spendable internships, and the Kerschner Family Series Global Leaders at Colgate. University program administrators were moved by the response.

“Support for the Colgate Fund was overwhelming,” remarked Jennifer Stone, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement; Director of Annual Giving and Professional Networks. “This fund helps provide for the university’s most pressing needs, so Colgate is made instantly stronger through these gifts.”

Brian Grady, Assistant Athletics Director for Advancement, agreed. "Funds raised by parents on Colgate Day and designated to the Colgate Athletic Council will have an immediate impact on all of our student-athletes. Gifts are critical in supporting our teams, providing resources for everything from enhancements in training equipment to expanding opportunities in the areas of academic support services and internships. Our student-athletes would not be as successful without the annual support of parents."

Another great example of immediate impact felt on campus is in the funding program that supports students' internships, research, service, or supplemental academic experiences. Through a rigorous process, this spring, Colgate selected over 250 students to receive these grants, at a cost of approximately $660,000. By the morning of the giving challenge, 17 of these 250 deserving students remained on the waitlist, their status contingent upon available funds.

"Throughout Colgate Day, and in the following days, we were able to pull all remaining the students from the waitlist, thanks to the generosity of parents and alumni," explained Teresa Olsen, Assistant Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Director of Career Services. "It is incredible to share this news with the students. With each notification, you literally feel an immediate impact that a gift makes to that student's ability to access such important experiences in their professional lives."

Mari Assad, Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Special Events, is excited about the experiences her team will be able to create with additional funding. "These gifts will help us bring global leaders to campus and give students insight from those at the forefront of world affairs,” she said. Some past speakers include General Colin Powell, President Bill Clinton, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

“The participation of parents during the Colgate Day challenge was phenomenal,” said Heather Payne, Assistant Director of Parent Giving. “Every dollar that was raised will be felt by the students currently on this campus. The university and our students cannot thank parents enough for their support.”

MAKE A GIFTIt’s not too late to make an impact! Make a gift to Colgate before June 30 by visiting, through Venmo @colgateuniv, or by calling 800-668-4428.

Popular Giving Options for Parents

Make your gift to one of these popular designations, or to any Colgate program that is meaningful to your family. All gifts count towards this challenge.

The Colgate Fund

Colgate’s most pressing need, contributions to the Colgate Fund have immediate impact — benefiting students in the year the gifts are given — and can be directed to academics, financial aid, study abroad, athletics, libraries, the arts, and more.

Spendable Internships

Internships are a pivotal experience in a liberal arts education, critical for post-graduate success, and a common recruiting tool for employers. Colgate is determined to raise sufficient funds to meet the full financial need of students who pursue unpaid or underpaid internships.

Global Leaders Lecture Series

Launched in 2007, the Kerschner Family Series Global Leaders At Colgate brings international leaders to campus, exposing students to complex issues and allowing them to engage with individuals at the forefront of world affairs.

Colgate Athletic Council

The CAC serves all athletic programs and student-athletes by providing the resources needed to produce excellence in the classroom and in Division I Athletics.
For more information, contact Heather Payne, assistant director of parent giving, at 315-228-6206 or

Colgate Day

A worldwide celebration of the Colgate spirit, observed every Friday the 13th. Show your Colgate pride by wearing maroon, attending events, sharing your love for Colgate on social media, and supporting Colgate with a gift.

Why 13?

Even if you’re new to the Colgate family, you’ve probably noticed our fixation with the number 13. The origin: Colgate University was founded by 13 men with $13 and 13 prayers.