GREENVILLE, Pa.—The eighth annual Match Day, Thiel College’s one-day fundraising event, smashed records for donations, event participants and money raised on Feb. 25 as well as surpassing the million-dollar mark for funds raised across the history of the event.
For the sixth-straight year, the number of donors for the event increased, with 559 donors contributing $209,000. This year’s amount raised pushed the total amount the event has generated since its launch in 2014 to more than $1 million.
Video highlights from Match Day.
“What an amazing accomplishment! Each member of the Thiel College community, whether it was walking a lap, making a donation, volunteering at the warming stations and check-in table, made this day possible,” Thiel College President Susan Traverso, Ph.D., said. “From the first cold steps early Thursday morning to the last laps being counted at dusk, from the early-morning East Coast donations and late-night West Coast contributions, I was humbled by the commitment of the members of the Thiel family.”
This year’s theme was Match Madness. Students, faculty, staff and friends of the College pledged to walk 550 laps at the track. More than a third of students participated in the event. Alumni and friends of the College from the area as well as faculty and staff members also spent the day walking or jogging laps at the Dr. Barry ’70 and Carol Stamm ’71 Track & Field Complex. The volunteers topped the goal by a wide margin, they combined to walk 2,263 laps or about 563 miles, a little more than one mile for every donor.
“This is the greatest gift at the greatest time for the College,” Vice President of College Advancement Roberta Leonard said. “For our community to come together and support each other like this is incredible. So much hard work and planning went into this event.”
Director of the Thiel Fund Mark S. Batt ’87 coordinated the day at the College.
“So often we hear about the intangible ideas of comradery, teamwork, togetherness, unity, but for Thiel College, these are more than just platitudes,” Batt said. “They are living, breathing things that we can point to, to prove that Thiel College is a unique place forever connecting people to each other and the institution.”
Gifts for Match Day go to the College’s Thiel Fund, which is the largest source of unrestricted funds at the College. The Thiel Fund is used to support the areas of greatest need of the College, funding need-based scholarships, academic programming, athletics, and campus improvements. This fund annually provides for the challenges such as unseen expenses, student needs and special opportunities. Match Day is also spurred by fundraising competitions between fraternities and sororities on campus and other organizations, clubs and academic programs. Those affinity groups are competing to be the top donating organization. Donors also took Match Day as a chance to support the endowed scholarship created for Professor of Business Administration and Accounting and David Miller Endowed Chair in Accounting Gary Witosky ’79.
The College has been singled out by Forbes three times since 2016 for the generosity of its donors.
“This event has truly turned into one of the highlights for our alumni,” Leonard said. “Each year, the fraternities and sororities take this challenge seriously. The Greek participants really help power this event.”
About Thiel College
Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a new Master of Science in speech-language pathology and 2Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program.A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation as it celebrates 150 years.