Kent State’s Giving Tuesday Raises More Than $2.8M to Support Scholarships and Programs

This year, the Kent State University community joined together to continue its proud tradition of giving back. During the month of November, more than 5,000 gifts were made, raising more than $2.8 million for scholarships and programs across the university’s eight-campus system during the 2023 Giving Tuesday campaign. This total includes nearly $1.1 million from legacy gifts, $150,000 from Kent State University Foundation matching gifts and more than $1.6 million from outright gifts and matches.

In the past nine years, the monthlong Giving Tuesday campaign has built a legacy as Kent State’s most generous annual tradition, raising more than $1 million for seven straight years. With a record of 58 featured funds this year, supporters had the opportunity to give with purpose and choose the fund that means the most to them. These funds are diverse in their support, providing students with basic needs; global education experiences; scholarships, including some in memory or honor of fellow Golden Flashes; research opportunities; and more.

“The Kent State community prides itself on taking care of one another, and giving back is at the heart of our values,” said Valoree Vargo, vice president for philanthropy and alumni engagement at Kent State and CEO of the Kent State University Foundation. “Our donors make it possible for us to provide vital support to our students as well as important opportunities to improve their skills and their futures. This incredible tradition of generosity helps us create brighter futures to benefit generations to come.”

A Kent State University student uses a Cricut cutting machine on fabric in the Design Innovation Hub’s sewing lab.
A Kent State University student uses a Cricut machine on fabric in the Design Innovation Hub’s sewing lab.

One fund that demonstrates this generous spirit is the Sandy Taylor Emerging Media and Technology Memorial Scholarship. As business manager of the School of Emerging Media and Technology, Sandy Taylor saw the importance of awarding scholarships to students in need. While she worked on behind-the-scenes efforts to build a more sustainable Kent State, she was privately battling cancer, which tragically claimed her life in January 2021. In memory of Taylor, her family was determined to create a scholarship in her name; it is the first scholarship specifically for emerging media and technology students. This Giving Tuesday season, memorial donations flooded in to support the scholarship, attesting to the impact Taylor had on the Kent State community. This support also helped endow the scholarship, which will make it an invaluable resource for emerging media and technology students for years to come.

Out of all the featured funds, the Baseball Enhancement Fund earned the most money this November, raising more than $105,000 to help with the needs of the program, including technology improvements at Schoonover Stadium and cameras as a tool for data analytics for pitching and hitting.

During Donor/Dollar Challenge Week from Nov. 14-21, the two leading featured funds each received an extra $2,500 toward their goal: the Crawford Hall Building Fund for raising the most dollars and the Baseball Enhancement Fund for acquiring the most unique donors during the challenge. The second- and third-place winners in both categories were awarded an additional $1,000 and $500, respectively.

Throughout the month, weekly giving incentives provided donors with the opportunity to make their gifts go further than any other time of the year. These incentives were made possible through the support of the Kent State University Foundation, members of Kent State President’s Cabinet and members of Kent State’s volunteer boards – the Board of Trustees, the Kent State University Foundation Board and the Alumni Association National Board of Directors. The Kent State University Foundation and volunteer boards contributed a combined $206,775 in matching funds this year.

On Giving Tuesday, Nov. 28, gifts to any Kent State University Foundation fund up to $1,000 were matched one-to-one until the matching funds were exhausted, and throughout the month, $500 participation boosts were awarded to featured funds for every 25 unique donors who gave $25 or more. On Oct. 31, Triple Your Gift Tuesday kicked off the campaign with donations matched up to $500 until the funds ran out. Due to the overwhelming response, the matching funds were exhausted earlier in the day than ever before on Triple Your Gift Tuesday, raising $147,000 in total.

“Our donors give because they want to make a difference, and our special giving incentives help maximize the impact of their support,” said Danielle Hupp, director of communications and annual giving. “Many in our Golden Flashes family stay up until midnight or set their alarms to make sure their gifts are matched. Giving Tuesday truly is Kent State’s most generous annual tradition.”

Students also joined the tradition of giving back. During the month of November, the Kent Student Ambassadors donated their time by volunteering for service projects on campus and in the community. As a group, they made more than 50 Thanksgiving and holiday cards for Meals on Wheels and partnered with Kent State’s Community Engaged Learning to repurpose old T-shirts to create dog toys that will be donated to local animal shelters. Collectively, the Kent Student Ambassadors accumulated 96 service hours throughout the campaign.

As Giving Tuesday 2023 comes to a close, Kent State students have a special message of thanks for Golden Flashes available at

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Media Contact:
Leigh Greenfelder,, 330-672-7108

POSTED: Thursday, December 7, 2023 01:38 PM
Updated: Friday, December 8, 2023 01:47 PM
Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement