Oregon State donors make more than 6,300 gifts totaling $1.55 million in 24 hours

May 2, 2022

by Siobhan Murray

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Supporters of Oregon State University came together on April 27, 2022, to raise $1.55 million through more than 6,300 gifts during the university’s annual day of giving and engagement.

In just 24 hours, Oregon State alumni, faculty, staff, parents, students and others supported over 100 funds across the university. Most contributions will directly assist students.

Dam Proud Day, led by the Oregon State University Foundation, engaged university and community members through in-person and livestream events in Corvallis, Portland and Bend. Donors were from all 50 states and 11 countries outside the United States.

Students holding OSU swag including a Tshirt and cups outside of OSU campus with a blow up Benny behind“The generosity of the Oregon State University community is remarkable,” said OSU Interim President Becky Johnson. “Thousands of Beavers and friends showed their dedication to ensuring all students can benefit from learning opportunities offered by the university. Donors to Dam Proud Day provided critical resources for students, including those experiencing food or housing insecurity, and helped to support an even stronger university. I thank everyone for their engagement and philanthropic support. OSU’s potential is limitless when we all work together.”

More than $700,000 in challenge gifts bolstered the day’s efforts.

The OSU President’s Challenge, created through a gift from Johnson and her wife Lori Elkins, encouraged members of the OSU community to vote for their favorite of five funds: the Basic Needs Center (formerly the Human Services Resource Center), the Dean of Students’ Emergency Fund, the Ecampus Student Success Fund, the OSU Scholarships and Fellowships Fund and the OSU-Cascades Student Emergency Fund. The Basic Needs Center received the most votes and $5,000 in prize money. The other four funds received awards ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.

OSU Foundation trustees and volunteer leaders, including Foundation chair Eric Schoenstein, chair-elect Penny Atkins and past chairs Ruth Beyer and John Stirek, funded a $100,000 Trustee Challenge to reward the day’s top performing funds. These included the Dean of Students’ Emergency Fund (also called Student Financial Hardship), which received the most in total giving, and the Women’s Soccer Fund, which received the highest number of gifts.

Other high-achieving funds included Spirit (OSU’s cheer and dance team) and the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Climate, Diversity and Inclusion Fund, which provides resources to three student groups: Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science and Students for Cultivating Change.

More than 400 self-identified current OSU students made a gift on Dam Proud Day, many supporting Women’s Soccer, Spirit and other athletics programs.

“While only our third giving day, Dam Proud Day has quickly become a powerful and greatly anticipated university tradition that brings Beavers and friends from all over the world together to celebrate the university,” said OSU Foundation CEO and President Shawn L. Scoville. “The day also provides an opportunity to highlight many wonderful projects and programs. I am inspired by and grateful to everyone who participated this year, especially all our students, university partners and the volunteers who vigorously promoted the causes they care about and to all our generous challenge gift donors. Thanks to all for such a fun, feel-good day.”

two students cheering eachother with ice cream cones while holding their new OSU swag from Dam Proud Day

Approximately 900 people participated in activities on the Memorial Union quad in Corvallis, which included ice cream from the College of Agricultural Sciences Beaver Classic food truck, a photo booth, giveaways and a 20-foot tall Benny the Beaver (#bigbenny) inflatable. More than 1,600 people watched the livestream from Gill Coliseum, which featured interviews with coaches and university leaders.

Dam Proud Day content shared on social media by OSU and the university community also garnered significant attention. The main Dam Proud Day video on YouTube has received more than 8,400 views and a video on Twitter by Head Football Coach Jonathan Smith has been viewed more than 3,000 times.

All 2022 Dam Proud Day gift totals are as of 8 a.m. on April 29. Offline gifts are still being processed.