University ready for first-ever day of giving

Courtesy of

Jack Judge

Historic and unprecedented. These two adjectives have preceded many of the events and initiatives that the University has commissioned, especially while celebrating its 175th Anniversary. This theme continues with 1842 Day, the first ever day of giving. Many other universities and institutions have their own day of giving. However, this large-scale fundraising effort is rooted in the identity and tradition of the University. 1842 Day will be one of the major events in the St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration week. The name “1842 Day” recognizes the year the University was founded and celebrates the 175 years of the University’s history.

“At Villanova, we know a lot can happen in just 4.7 seconds—imagine what the Nova Nation can do when we come together for 1,842 minutes,” Michael J. O’Neill, Senior Vice President for University Advancement, said. “This will be a day that inspires our community and propels our historic campaign to even greater heights.” The goal for 1842 Day is to reach 1,842 donors in 1,842 minutes, beginning 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19 and concluding at 6:42 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 20. Donors are given the freedom to choose their contribution and can also select which area to support such as academics, athletics or specific student groups. 

The day of giving is highlighted by the need for an all-out effort by students, staff, faculty and alumni to reach the target. “We have 30.7 hours to ignite change and call all Villanovans to make a gift by finding something at Villanova that they are passionate about and that they will support on this historic day,” Marci Paton, Director of Annual Giving, said. She continued to say that the event is “about uniting the entire Villanova community to celebrate all that makes our University great and how we can become even greater.” In order to expand the sphere of influence of the day, there will be a strong digital initiative to complement the on campus presence, as there will be significant outreach through email and social media, live updates on fundraising progress online at and on the University’s social media channels. Keith Jones ’07, NBC 10 news anchor and University Adjunct Professor, will be one of the estimated 175 Alumni Ambassadors to help promote the day and garner continued interest via his Facebook livestream. 

On campus, the central hub for the fundraising activity will be at the Oreo, where a mosaic with photographs from the day will create “one Villanova image,” Jeanette Anthony ‘14, ‘17 MS, Assistant Director of Student Philanthropy and Reunion Giving, described. Throughout the 1,842 minutes, the mosaic will be decorated with how people participated in the event. Submissions from social media will also be featured in the mosaic as the image will feature the entire ‘Nova Nation showing gratitude and celebrating what makes the University great. Various student organizations will also gather at the Oreo to promote the day and send hand-written thank you cards out to those who donate. There will also be two satellite locations to bolster excitement and encourage participation—one on West Campus and the other on South Campus. The culmination of the day will feature Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, Ph.D. announcing the results of the fundraising endeavor at the “Rock the Oreo” event.

1842 Day is aimed to represent as many facets of the University as possible.  “We have 30 different campaigns, representing 72 different designations at Villanova,” Paton said. “It’s certainly not every designation that you can support here, but we tried to make sure that all of the primary areas of the Villanova experience were represented.” This initiative will help the University toward its campaign goal of reaching 30 percent undergraduate alumni participation by May 31, 2018. “The community that we have built here at Villanova is a really special place. This is our chance to show the world what Villanova can do,” Paton concluded. 

These special 1,842 minutes will reverberate all across the University’s community and demonstrate the capabilities of a united ‘Nova Nation.