Generosity will ignite university's continued innovation and success
Arizona State University celebrates another successful Sun Devil Giving Day thanks to the support of donors who raised more than $1 million this year for important programs and initiatives that impact students, faculty and staff.
Held March 16, Sun Devil Giving Day is a 24-hour universitywide day of giving during which alumni, parents, students, donors, faculty and staff champion the causes they care about at ASU. Their gifts will fuel the promises that lie at the heart of the ASU Charter: to be an inclusive, impactful and community-oriented university.
This year, donor-supported initiatives included:
• Equity and inclusion. In many marginalized communities, family stories have been lost to history. Arizona’s historical records don’t include archival material from underrepresented populations. One estimate says while Latino, African-American, Asian-American and LGBTQ communities make up more than 42% of Arizona’s current population, they are represented in less than 2% of known archival collections. Sun Devil Giving Day gifts to ASU’s Community Driven Archive will help change that.
• Accessibility to higher education. ASU is a comprehensive public research university measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed, and donors supported this cause through donations to initiatives like the Student Accessibility Fund.
• Students in crisis. Sudden unanticipated financial stressors like fires, broken-down cars, rising rent and theft can happen, but for many students who have exhausted all other financial options, it's the difference between dropping out and staying in school. Gifts to the ASU Family Student Crisis Fund will provide immediate financial assistance to students unable to meet essential expenses.
• Supporting our community. Arizona’s recidivism rate is nearly 40%, according to the World Population Review. But donor support for the ASU Center for Correctional Solutions will support those who serve in corrections and those who are served to reduce recidivism and enable education for students to be leaders within the correctional system.
• Research that makes a difference. ASU has committed to producing research that serves the public. Sun Devil Giving Day donors supported research like the Shark and Fish Conservation Fund, which helps critical programs focused on ocean species and their habitats.
ASU students were given the opportunity to join in the giving spirit through Sun Devil Rewards. Students voted for their favorite causes, including ASU Counseling Services, Pitchfork Pantry, the ASU Family Student Crisis Fund and Project Humanities. Every vote equaled $1 toward the students’ fund of choice up to $5,000 thanks to the generous donation of Desert Financial Credit Union, the largest Arizona-based credit union and a partner to ASU.
ASU senior Liam Barrett received money from the Student Crisis Fund his sophomore year after he was displaced when his house burned down.
“It’s nice to know there’s outlets for students when they’re in trouble to get some funding when they need it because sometimes, you’re in a tough spot,” Barrett said.
Barrett now works as a student fundraiser for the ASU Foundation for A New American University, where he raises money for the same funds that helped him in the past.
ASU sophomore Cassidy Gross said she likes that students can choose what they would like to see.
“It’s a way to bring not just alumni and people outside of our community, but people who are still here and bring them into this giving circle,” Gross said.
In addition to generating financial support, Sun Devil Giving Day encourages the ASU community to cultivate a culture of philanthropy and an understanding of its impact.
According to Bill Kavan, vice president of engagement and outreach at the ASU Foundation, private philanthropic support remains fundamental to supporting students’ success and improving society.