Bringing in a total of $438,878 from 1,521 donors, the second-annual MSU Giving Day well exceeded its goal. The 29-hour campaign began on Thursday, Feb. 11, and concluded Friday, Feb. 12. Over 50 teams participated to raise support for scholarships, research, internships, travel, competition, equipment, public partnerships and more.

“Even in this time of unprecedented disruption brought on by the coronavirus, we remain in step with MSU's land-grant mission to integrate education, create knowledge and art and provide service to communities," said the MSU Giving Day Team in a statement. “It is part of our pioneer legacy to blaze new trails, explore new vistas and transform lives and communities.”

Numerous challenges were also incorporated into the event to encourage teams to gain donors. Some of the challenges included the Trailhead Challenge, where three teams with the greatest number of individual donors in the first hour were rewarded $200, and the Super Ambassador Challenge, where the registered ambassador who gifted the most in the event was given a special $1,000 award to donate to a cause of their choice. The Trailhead Challenge award went to the MSU Leadership Institute, Bobcat Athletics and Students Against Sexual Assault, while Kelsey Martin was awarded the Super Ambassador award. The three most engaging social media posts using the appropriate hashtags were also selected to pick a project to receive a $100 gift on their behalf.

Multiple individuals also matched donations for specific projects. The MSU Alumni Foundation matched all donations until a total of $10,000 was raised. An anonymous individual matched $7,500 for the Avalanche Education project to raise money for a 30-foot yurt to serve as an avalanche and wilderness center. Sylvia Atencio and her husband Robert Jesperson, an MSU engineering alumni, also agreed to match $15,000 in gifts to the Engineers Without Borders club.

Overall, the greatest amount of donations went to the Hilleman Scholars, who received $33,240. The MSU Leadership Institute acquired $26,825 and the Jabs Student Support Scholarship received $23,981. The MSU Giving Day Team said, “Thanks to MSU’s friends, alumni, students, parents, faculty and staff for blazing the trail to support so many impactful projects and programs.” Visit https://givingday.montana.edu/for a run-down of the 2021 MSU Giving Day and for more information regarding the various campus projects that were funded.