One year after setting a University of Florida record for most gifts in a single day, UF alumni, students and friends once again rose to support their school, bringing in 16,993 contributions worth $23.6 million during 2020’s 24-hour “Stand Up and Holler: Gator Nation Giving Day” campaign on Thursday, Feb. 20.
This year’s totals — with Gators across the globe and from almost all 50 states participating — outpaced 2019’s inaugural Giving Day campaign, which saw 11,535 individual gifts for a total of $12.6 million. “Stand Up and Holler” gifts support numerous programs and projects throughout campus, such as scholarships for first-in-their-families students, medical care for children, research, facilities and the campus food pantry.
Highlights from UF’s second annual Giving Day include the following:
- More than $23 million in new gifts;
- A significant boost from Gators on the West Coast, who rallied late into the evening to help UF meet and exceed its Giving Day goals;
- Hundreds of Gators around the country serving as social media ambassadors for Giving Day, and rallying their family, friends, and fellow alumni answer UF’s call;
- An anonymous contribution to UF Athletics toward the 140,000-square-foot James W. “Bill” Heavener Football Training Center;
- A joint gift from College of Design, Construction and Planning alumni to create cutting-edge collaborative spaces within the college;
- 1,263 individual gifts for the College of Journalism and Communications;
- 445 separate contributions for the College of Medicine; and,
- 2,287 donations to support Dance Marathon, UF’s fundraising program to help children treated at the university.
Alumni and friends this year participated in “Stand Up and Holler” from as far away as Turkey, Israel and France, states from Hawaii to New York, and for UF programs ranging from Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars and Honors to the Florida Museum of Natural History and Innovation Academy.
“Gators rally because they believe in the University of Florida and they’re committed to its rise,” UF President Kent Fuchs said. “‘Stand Up and Holler’ is a testament to that spirit. Thanks to generous Gators everywhere, UF will continue to change lives, both on this campus and around the country and the world.”
The annual social media-driven “Stand Up and Holler: Gator Nation Giving Day” campaign is named in recognition of the beloved Gator football game cheer made famous by George Edmondson Jr., better known to fans as “Mr. Two Bits.” Edmondson’s iconic orange-and-blue striped necktie was used as a symbol to promote the campaign, with replicas as large as 30 feet long strategically placed throughout the Gainesville campus.
“The Gator Nation’s response to last year’s giving day blew us away,” said Katrina Rolle, president of the UF Alumni Association. “But this year, our community has defied all expectations. On days like these, we show the world what we can do. It’s a testament to UF that so many alumni, students and friends believe so strongly in this university.”
The next “Stand Up and Holler: Gator Nation Giving Day” is tentatively scheduled for February 2021.
The 167-year-old University of Florida has a long history of established programs in international education, research and service, and is one of only 17 public, land-grant universities in the prestigious Association of American Universities. It is ranked No. 7 in the most recent U.S. News and World Report’s list of public universities.