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Mark It Day returns for 48-hour fundraising celebration

Markie the Sunspot and students
February 28, 2014

When Markie the Sunspot was visiting ASU’s campuses last year, Sun Devils who weren’t familiar with his story didn’t understand that he’d been there all along. Shad Hanselman, senior director of annual giving for the ASU Foundation, says Markie has had a presence at ASU since the university’s earliest days.

“Markie the Sunspot is the walking embodiment of philanthropy at ASU,” says Hanselman. “He’s enthusiastic and tireless in pointing out all the places and ways the generous support of donors makes a difference. Anywhere Sun Devil pride and philanthropy come together, you’ll find Markie.”

Hanselman says that’s why Markie has been even more visible the past few weeks, posing for pictures and giving out hugs on all four campuses. He’s reminding Sun Devils that Mark It Day is here. The second annual social media-based fundraiser begins at 12:01 a.m., March 6 and ends 48 hours later. The public can watch the campaign unfold at, which includes a live, interactive Markie Map, and follow Markie’s progress on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo and Tumblr.

“Mark It Day began last year as a one-day campaign to support ASU,” Hanselman says. “We didn’t know how successful it would be, but it literally made history. In only 37 hours, Sun Devils across the country – even a few around the world – joined together to raise more than $170,000, benefiting students, faculty and programs on every ASU campus. It was the largest single-event fundraiser ever at ASU,” Hanselman says.

For 2014, Mark It Day has become even more, Hanselman says. “It’s not simply a way for us to ask people to donate. It’s really a 48-hour celebration to remind people of the proud role that hundreds of thousands of generous donors have in the history of ASU.

“ASU began with a single gift,” says Hanselman, referring to George and Martha Wilson’s donation of their Tempe pasture to become a territorial school campus. “That spirit of philanthropy has been going strong for nearly 130 years, making ASU the amazing institution it is today.

“That’s why Markie is so important for us,” Hanselman continues. “On Mark It Day he shows how alumni, parents, friends, students, faculty, staff – everyone who supports ASU – can direct their gifts to the colleges and programs they choose.”

As it was last year, the fundraising goal for Mark It Day is a nod to ASU’s fall 2013 enrollment: $76,611. But Hanselman says the more important figure will come at the end of the social media-based campaign. “Mark It Day is as much about people as it is about dollars,” he says. “Markie isn’t just asking people to give. He’s reminding them that, when they do, they’re joining the generations of ASU friends and family who have built a university that makes us all feel proud and inspired. They’re truly making their own marks on history.”