University Raises Over $9 Million On Sixth Annual 1842 Day


Students had the opportunity to raise money for their student organizations on 1842 Day.

Julia O'Keefe and Lydia McFarlane

September 20 marks the return of 1842 Day, Villanova’s 24-hour day of giving to raise funds for organizations on campus. This year is the University’s sixth annual 1842 Day.


At the time of publication, altogether there had been 10,224 gifts that came to a grand total of $9,159,338. Student Performing Arts Groups was in first place regarding fundraising efforts with 812 gifts totaling $46,683.11. While the ranking is in order of number of donations, several organizations raised more money than the Student Performing Arts Groups, even though they received less donations. For example, men’s basketball was in the lead at the time of publication for dollar amounts, having raised $1,062,893.23. 

On 1842 Day, main campus was alive with decorations, golf carts, lawn games and much more. Students lined up for a chance to ride Cat Cabs, in which questions are asked of the people on the golf carts to raise money. There were several tents decorated with balloons and lights, and Will D. Cat was at the Oreo all day to celebrate the fundraising efforts. In the evening, from 7-9pm,  there was an 1842 Day carnival complete with performances from the University’s numerous acapella groups and food trucks. After 1842 Day, funds will be deposited into each group’s account. 1842 calls members of the Villanova community together from everywhere across the country to donate to a campus organization of their choice. All donors can make a gift of any size. 


According to Kasia Jaworski, Associate Director of Annual Giving Campus Programs, last year’s 1842 Day donations totaled more than $11 million in just 24 hours. This money went to organizations that included the Villanova Outdoors Club, Pastoral Musicians and Club Badminton. 


Jaworski spoke about the success of 1842 Day and what these donations mean to the Villanova community. 


“The students get to use those dollars to really make an impact on their student group, their academic department, their club sports team, whatever they’re passionate about,” Jaworski said. “It’s a really fun way to bring philanthropy to the students themselves and emphasize the importance of giving back and the alumni giving back who are making their experience even better.”


Villanova Best Buddies, the Black Student Union, the Sports Analytics Club, NovaRacing and VU Pride are a few examples of student organizations that benefitted from last year’s 1842 Day donations, according to the 1842 Day website. 


Jaworski explained that she works alongside the Executive Director of Annual Giving, Marci Paton, and Associate Director of Digital Fundraising, Nicole Duhamel, to plan for the day. 


“University Advancement, and more specifically the Annual Giving Team, starts planning for 1842 Day almost a full year in advance,” she said. “We work with all teams in our department—everyone from data reporting and major giving to stewardship and gift processing—as well as a number of campus partners to make each year a success.” 


The event took on a Carnival theme this year, bringing back the fan-favorite “Cat Cabs” event along with an “Oreo Dunk” Plinko-style game and a Student Giving Power Hour. 


Donations totals have grown exponentially since the beginning of the 1842 Day tradition, and the committee expected to see even more success this year than last. Duhamel and Jaworski expressed that to them, this 1842 Day will be a success not only if the goals are reached, but also if more people know about 1842 Day and its fundraising efforts.


“If students know what 1842 Day is and they come out and participate in any way, for me, that is the definition of success,” Jaworski said.


The team further stressed the importance of 1842 Day efforts to the Villanova community and how it connects students, family, staff, alumni and Nova Nation fans everywhere directly to campus. They emphasized their goals for this year’s fundraiser and beyond.


Our goal is 10,000 gifts,” the team said. “Since 2017, 1842 Day has raised more than $33 million for 300+ areas of campus from more than 20,500 donors. This year, we want to encourage everyone to give back, any amount to any areas of campus that have positively impacted their Villanova experience.”


1842 Day was once again a success, with multiple organizations benefiting from donations from fellow Villanovans. For more information on how to sign your organization up for next year, visit the University’s 1842 Day website.