By Lea Hart
NC State’s 2022 Day of Giving provided an opportunity for Poole College alumni, friends, faculty and students to come together, celebrate supporting the college and NC State University, and talk about what that support means to students and faculty, and to the college itself.
The focus this year was on bringing people together. Day of Giving kicked off at Poole with a number of events meant to build energy and excitement on campus and beyond.
Following two years with much time spent apart, the focus this year was on bringing people together. Day of Giving kicked off at Poole with a number of events meant to build energy and excitement on campus and beyond, as well as giving challenges that could be celebrated by those near and far.
Day of Giving is an annual, daylong fundraising event at NC State. Each year, for 24 hours, the university and Poole College ask its supporters to come together to make a big impact through their support. During this year’s Day of Giving on March 23, Poole College secured $746,280 from 793 gifts.
Every gift that day made a difference, and highlights included a gift established by Mike (Business Management ’84, Accounting ’85) and Lori Constantino (Business Management ’84) to support faculty excellence within Poole College. The Constantinos chose to issue a challenge to their fellow Poole supporters on Day of Giving: if 100 donors supported the fund within a three-hour window, the couple would commit $250,000 to fully endow the fund. More than 200 donors stepped up to meet that challenge.
“This was a great opportunity to talk about faculty, highlight them and the work that they’re doing,” said Brian Clark, executive director of Development and External Relations at Poole College. “Students are the bloodline of higher education, and we need to talk about the role faculty play – they are the ones who can inspire thought.”
“The Constantinos’ gift was a good reminder to us all that we need to come alongside our faculty, support them, and retain them.”
Poole also secured a $62,500 gift to support scholarships for diverse students in Poole, and a $50,000 gift to provide funding for initiatives supporting students who have overcome challenges related to learning disabilities.
Dean for the Day
The energy could be felt throughout Nelson Hall on Day of Giving as students were encouraged to post on social media about the day for the chance to win prizes. Students who supported Poole with a donation were entered in a raffle to become Dean for a Day. Ian Smith (‘22), ultimately won that opportunity, switching places with Dean Frank Buckless for the day. Buckless attended Smith’s classes while Smith took on the Dean’s duties for the day.
Students who supported Poole with a donation were entered in a raffle to become Dean for a Day. Ian Smith (‘22), ultimately won that opportunity.
Smith said the day was a great opportunity to get to know the Dean and to really see what makes Poole College run behind the scenes.
“It gave me a greater appreciation for all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes, that you don’t get in your day-to-day as a student,” Smith said.
Smith was not the only current student who got excited and got involved this year. Though students often may not have a lot of extra funds to invest, a number of Poole students chose to give what they could this year, or worked behind the scenes to encourage others to get involved in Day of Giving.
Julianna Lopez, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in accounting, works as a student philanthropy intern in Poole’s Development office. In her role, Lopez encourages students to get involved in philanthropy efforts and she is a student voice to donors who support Poole College. She was directly involved in spreading awareness prior to Day of Giving. Lopez also led her student organization, Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honors organization, to get involved in a university-wide student Day of Giving challenge.
“Student involvement is important now more than ever, especially because of an obvious decline in engagement since COVID began,” she said. “When you’re involved in university activities, have pride in your school, and support your college you are creating a positive environment for students to thrive in.”
Reconnecting with Alumni
Later in the afternoon, faculty and staff enjoyed a Howling Cow ice cream social upstairs. Young alumni were invited out in the evening to attend an event at Lynnwood Brewing Concern.
“Our young alumni are still in that season of life where they’re building out their careers and assessing what life is after graduation,” Clark said. “We wanted to bring them together – these past two years have been a long time to be disconnected physically from people.”
Jeff Terebey (‘19 MBA) supported Day of Giving in past years and attended the Lynnwood Brewing event this year. As a recipient of support himself in his education, he said he felt it was important to give back. The opportunity to get together in person this year just added to the energy, he said.
“When you’re involved in university activities, have pride in your school, and support your college you are creating a positive environment for students to thrive in.”
“It was a really good opportunity to connect with both current students and some of the folks that I had gone through the program with, and some of the administration as well,” he said. “The more frequently that these events can be held, the more they’ll be looked forward to and the more support they’ll garner.”
“I think that exercising student philanthropy and donating to the school is a way of investing in yourself and those around you.”
Making an Impact
Day of Giving brings together Poole College supporters from across the spectrum. Alumni, faculty, staff and students join in, as well as friends of Poole College, corporate supporters, retired faculty and staff, parents of alumni and so many others.
“It’s one voice; that idea of the Pack mentality,” Clark said. “We can do something, we can come together on a central thought, a central idea, a central focus, and celebrate that.”
The day provides a microphone to talk about what support can do and is doing for NC State and for Poole College.
It’s also about communication, he said. The day provides a microphone to talk about what support can do and is doing for NC State and for Poole College.
“Sometimes we give, and we trust the organization with that support,” Clark said. “But you may not get a chance to hear how those dollars did something for someone else.”
While Day of Giving is about supporting the university and the college, it’s also an opportunity to talk about the ‘why,’ he said.
Smith, who will return to Poole College this fall and enroll in the Masters of Accounting program, will benefit from some of the support given to Poole College. He’ll receive an academic scholarship as he pursues his MAC degree.
We’re not just impacting an individual’s life, but giving each individual a chance to be an enhanced global citizen.
“I have an appreciation for the philanthropy and donations that are funding these academic scholarships,” he said. “It’s important to reward students for the hard work they’ve put in.”
Clark said the impact will be felt not just today or tomorrow, but in the future as well.
“You never know what that single scholarship, or the ability to retain that single faculty member, means for the students being taught,” Clark said. “We’re not just impacting an individual’s life, but giving each individual a chance to be an enhanced global citizen.”