Alumni raise over $32,000 for annual 24-hour Meeker Challenge event


Recent graduates raised $32,590.38 on Tuesday for DePauw University's annual fund at the Meeker Challenge.

The Meeker Challenge was a 24-hour event in which alumni could donate money online to their alma mater. Lis Meeker ‘78 organized the event, challenging DePauw's Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) to donate funds to help educate students.

Tuition funds only half of the cost of educating one DePauw student, according to those seeking gifts.. The other half is largely generated by alumni giving. Donations made to the Meeker Challenge go directly into the annual fund.

Advertising for the event began in the beginning of February through emails, Facebook and Twitter to get the word out to alumni in hopes of getting the best results.

The day of the challenge the magnitude of activity happening on Facebook and Twitter was important to the fundraising.

Kyle Kerrigan, assistant director of annual giving and staff liaison to the Graduates of the Last Decade, was very impressed with how the whole event went.

"I was amazed at the conversations and dialogue that was happening on Twitter," Kerrigan said. "The sheer volume [of the challenge] was incredible."

The challenge was truly a 24-hour event with the first donation being made at 12:10 a.m. Feb. 29 and the last donation being made at 11:54 p.m.

Kate Shipley ‘11 was the first alumni to give a donation to The Meeker challenge.

Mike Stanek, class of 2006, participated in the Meeker challenge and thought it was a smart way to involve young alumni to give back.

"I think it was a great idea," Stanek said. "The Meeker challenge targeted young alumni and a lot of the time its hard for the university to engage the alumni who are starting new careers, making new families and moving to new places. This was a great way to bring back young alums to get involved with DePauw University."

The total amount of money alumni gave was through 577 separate gifts.

The challenge began with 20,000 dollars donated by Lis Meeker while alumni donated 12,590.38 on their end.

There were a total of 866 donors from classes 2002-2011. Class of 2006 had the most donors having 119 alumni donating. The class of 2008 had the most amounts of new donors having 65 first time donors.

Kerrigan was very pleased with the results.

"The office was a buzz," Kerrigan said. "Everybody was screaming and smiling. Everyone was so thrilled. Everyone was ecstatic to see that in one day."