Are you in?

It’s the essential question for all Hokies during one of the most important 24-hour periods on the Virginia Tech calendar — Giving Day.

Are you in for supplying critical support needed to transform students into tomorrow’s leaders?

Are you in for funding top-tier research yielding discoveries to help solve the world’s most complex problems?

Are you in for partnering with Virginia Tech in serving our communities by becoming a global force for positive change?

On March 19, Hokie Nation will have the opportunity to jointly answer this call during Virginia Tech’s Giving Day. The annual tradition begins that day at noon, EST, and extends through noon on March 20.

It will be a 24-hour period filled with excitement and highlighted by thousands of alumni, students, employees, family, and friends coming together to fuel accomplishments across every area of the university.

“Hokies are some of the most engaged and generous people on the planet and the university has historically flourished as a result,” said John Torget, Virginia Tech’s associate vice president for leadership gifts and annual giving. “Giving Day allows us to join in that spirit and collectively step up to provide the critical assistance Virginia Tech needs to continue on its path to becoming a world-leading university.”

Giving Day 2019 already has over 330 ambassadors — people who have committed not only to give, but to spread the word about the day to their friends. Virginia Tech has a goal of connecting with more than 5,500 participants, which would be a 19 percent increase from 2018, when 4,617 people gave during the university’s first ever Giving Day. Gifts of any size are encouraged, as a major goal of Giving Day is to enhance Virginia Tech’s culture of philanthropy.

“We’re confident our alumni, friends, parents, employees, and students will step forward to hit and surpass this mark in serving the university they love, because that’s just what Hokies do; they come together to serve,” Torget said.

Virginia Tech's "Are you in?" Giving Day graphic for 2019.
Virginia Tech's Giving Day theme for 2019 is "Are you in?"

Last year’s inaugural Giving Day provided many Hokies, such as Ryan Eaves ’04, an ideal opportunity to step up and give for the first time.

“It had always been my intention to give back to Tech, but for whatever reason I had never done it;  the first Giving Day just seemed like the right time,” Eaves said. “I appreciated being able to give directly to my college, knowing how much I got out of the environmental science program — and the Giving Day website also made it so easy to donate.”

Along with this year’s new participation goal, Giving Day 2019 will also include a dramatic uptick in ways supporters can make the most of their giving through matching gifts and challenge opportunities. Within the more than 500 areas across 22 colleges and programs to which a person can contribute, there are a combined 104 available matches and challenges that could potentially double a gift amount.

Many of those matches and challenges stem from generous commitments by Hokies who are not only passionate about the university, but also have special connections to specific areas, such as Lee Quill ’76. Along with the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC) Firm Advisory Board, he spearheaded a challenge gift to benefit that center.

“I loved being at Virginia Tech, and my experience at the College of Architecture and Urban Studies was tremendous,” said Quill whose daughter is a junior in CAUS. “It lit a fire in me for continued learning and education in life.”  

Virginia Tech President Tim Sands is scheduled to kick off Giving Day with a faculty and staff event beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Owens Banquet Hall. Students will be stationed at Squires Student Center throughout the day, calling with encouragement for alumni and others.

Throughout Giving Day’s 24 hours, supporters can follow the action online via social media, emails, and special announcements. All are encouraged to use the hashtag #vtgivingday when posting information about the event to social media.

Written by Travis Williams