Barry McNamara  |  Published April 15, 2021

Best Scots Day Ever

Monmouth’s fifth annual Scots Day of Giving sets records, as College raises $271,852.

SCOTS DAY OF GIVING: Vice President for Development and College Relations Hannah Maher interviews... SCOTS DAY OF GIVING: Vice President for Development and College Relations Hannah Maher interviews Director of Multicultural Student Services Regina Johnson, while faculty member Jennifer Thorndike looks on.MONMOUTH, Ill. – Scots Nation pulled together to make Monmouth College’s fifth annual Scots Day of Giving the best one yet.

The day of fundraising for the College saw new records established for both dollars raised and donors contributing. In all, 964 donors combined to raise $271,852.

Earmarked to receive those funds are five initiatives that the College’s Office of Development and College Relations selected to focus on this year: the Scots Care Fund for students in need; an outdoor Wi-Fi hotspot with the Parent & Family Council; the Champion Miller 1860 Fund, which promotes campus diversity; the Fighting Scots Society; and the Monmouth Fund.

“There is so much to celebrate about the day,” said Director of Alumni Engagement Jen Armstrong. “It was a good day for Monmouth and our students. And celebrations are most welcome these days.”

Armstrong expressed gratitude for the all-campus effort required to stage such a successful fundraising event.

“I appreciate everyone pitching in over the past months and owning the different components that make all this happen – from building the platform, the contact lists, the messaging, videos, social media plans, 50-state strategy, major gift asks, stewardship, decorating, organizing volunteers and events,” she said. “We are a small but mighty team.”

Some of the record number of donors were inspired by the newly created Scots Day of Giving song shared on Facebook by former faculty members Stacy and Simon Cordery.

“May all our effort ever be … to honor this video by donating to the cause!” wrote Sarah Crummy Wolek ’01 in response to the tune, which was belted out with gusto by Simon Cordery.

“I loved when the pipes would walk through the dorms. The only day of the year I didn’t mind waking up early.” – Kelly Sutton Everding ’98

That Facebook fun was part of a social media outreach that included alumni sharing some of their favorite memories of Monmouth College. They ranged from bagpipe wake-up calls and water polo road trips with the late Fighting Scots coach, Tom Burek, to playing washers on the Gibson Hall lawn and a music assignment involving the College hymn.

“I loved when the pipes would walk through the dorms,” shared Kelly Sutton Everding ’98. “The only day of the year I didn’t mind waking up early.”

Bagpipes once again signaled the start of Scots Day of Giving at 5 a.m., kicking off 18 hours and 53 minutes of activities in honor of the College’s founding in 1853.

Some of the day’s socially distanced highlights included a coffee chat with College Historian Jeff Rankin on “The History of Scots Day;” an ice cream social; and “Sippin’ with the Scots: Italian Wine Edition,” a town-gown event with faculty member Craig Vivian and Sarah Walters, the owner of Monmouth’s Market Alley Wines.

Throughout the day, an anonymous donor pledged to donate $10,000 every time the College reached another 168 donors (the number of years since Monmouth College’s founding), up to 840 donors. That total was surpassed, generating a total challenge gift donation of $50,000.

Another challenge was also reached in full, as the College received gifts from all 50 states. West Virginia was the last state to join the party at 10:46 p.m..

“The strength of our community is stronger than any pandemic. With traditions altered, games cancelled, and songs unsung, we face the future with hope, gratitude and the resilience that has sustained us for 168 years.” – Allie Ramlo ’22

Alumni Board members got the day started with an Early Bird Challenge, pledging that gifts received between 6-10 a.m. would be matched 2-to-1.

In a video promoting the day, Monmouth student Allie Ramlo ’22 of Tremont, Illinois, provided foreshadowing of how Scots Nation would step up despite uncertain times.

“The strength of our community is stronger than any pandemic,” she said. “With traditions altered, games cancelled, and songs unsung, we face the future with hope, gratitude and the resilience that has sustained us for 168 years.”

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