Barry McNamara  |  Published April 18, 2024

A Magical Day

Monmouth magic in the air as Tartan Nation turns out in droves to support Scots Day of Giving.

Monmouth College staff members and volunteers celebrate a successful Scots Day of 2024 on April 18. During the 18... Monmouth College staff members and volunteers celebrate a successful Scots Day of 2024 on April 18. During the 18-hour, 53-minute day of giving more than 940 donors combined to give more than $269,000.
MONMOUTH, Ill. –
Around 3 p.m. in the headquarters of Monmouth College’s eighth annual Scots Day of Giving, the song “Magic Man” by Heart was playing, one of several tunes selected as part of a special “Monmouth Magic” playlist.

The donor page projected on the screen showed that Monmouth was nearing 75% of its main goal. By the time the day was done at 11:53 p.m., those numbers had grown, and several goals were reached.

‘The Magic Number’

A year ago, 767 donors stepped up to support Monmouth on Scots Day of Giving. This year’s goal was to break 800, and that figure was reached in the final stages of the 18-hour, 53-minute event – a timespan chosen to honor the College’s 1853 founding.

In all, 942 donors combined to raise $269,525 for Monmouth College.

Check out more pictures from Scots Day of Giving 2024.

“It’s all about engagement,” said Zak Edmonds ’08, Monmouth director of alumni engagement, who “shadowed” last year’s event as he was just starting his new position at his alma mater. “This year, for me, the training wheels were off. You might think there would be some anxiety, but to see it all play out in real time, and to see faculty, staff, students and alumni all coming together, it was pretty special.”

You could even say it was magical.

Monmouth College Director of Alumni Engagement Zak Edmonds '08 and Vice President for Development and c... Monmouth College Director of Alumni Engagement Zak Edmonds ’08 and Vice President for Development and college Relations Hannah Maher speak to the Tartan Nation during a livestream on the College's Instagram account. “To me, the Monmouth magic is the people,” said Edmonds. “It’s the people who are here, the people who were here before us, and the people still to come.”

One of those people came a long time before current members of the campus community. From Monmouth’s Class of 1941, Mary Ellen Kauzlarich made a donation, surely breaking an all-time Scots Day of Giving record. One of a family full of Fighting Scots, Kauzlarich is 105 years young.

“Kappa Delta (sorority) is proud of Mary Ellen!” posted Jolene Whisler ’95 on Facebook. “What a gem! This post is inspiring! It truly is a great day to be a Scot!!!”

‘This Magic Moment’

Whisler was also a fan of the Tartan Nation map the College posted online as the states represented by donors filled in during the day.

“I keep looking at the map and checking … just like I do with the delivery status of my Amazon orders!! LOL! It’s so exciting!!!” she posted.

The 50-state, $50,000 challenge was unlocked when the College received a gift from a donor in North Dakota with about six hours still to go in the day.

Listen to WMOI-FM’s live remote during Scots Day 2024.

Other challenges were fully unlocked, too, including a matching gift of $50,000 from former Board of Trustees vice chair Bill Trubeck ’68 for gifts of more than $100.

Along the way, goals were also reached in support of Scots Day of Giving’s featured projects. That included raising more than $8,900 for the senior class gift, which involves refurbishing the lower level of the Stockdale Center, set to re-open Aug. 1. A $5,000 gift from a generous donor helped with that effort.

The Fighting Scots Society was another beneficiary, with its goal of $30,000 being reached. Supporting the Monmouth Fund and raising $15,000 for a golf cart for the admission office were other successful projects.

‘You Can Do Magic’

Throughout the day, donors were encouraged to engage with their alma mater and help it not only reach the 800-donor goal but provide important support for today’s students and the students of tomorrow.

The Tartan Trivia Trolley – driven by Monmouth College Director of Human Resources Stephanie Kinkaid, w... The Tartan Trivia Trolley – driven by Monmouth College Director of Human Resources Stephanie Kinkaid, with Raul Guillermo ’24, left, and Luis Castillo ’24 seated in the back – offered students rides to class on a rain-soaked Scots Day of Giving 2024 on Thursday, April 18, provided they were willing to answer fun-fact questions about the College. The Trolley livestreamed its adventures on the College's YouTube channel. “It’s been great to reconnect with the school we love so well since joining the Alumni Board,” posted Jake McLean ’15. “We’ve got a lot of great things happening at Monmouth and the school needs our support to spread the ‘Magic of Monmouth.’ … Even a small gift goes a long way to support the initiatives that helped us all when we were students.”

Other posts provided sincere gratitude for the Monmouth College experience.

“Being a proud Monmouth alum, I am very thankful for my four years at Monmouth and the opportunities that I had as a student,” posted Jacob Durdan ’20. “Monmouth has brought so many wonderful people and meaningful connections into my life! I can never find the right words to express my gratitude for everyone who made my time at Monmouth so memorable. ROLL SCOTS!”

‘Magic Man’ at ‘The Magic Hour’

Jamison Riley ’26 of Quincy, Illinois, entertained the “Happy Hour” crowd who gathered from 5-7 p.m. at the Mellinger Office of Development and College Relations, which houses the alumni office, with a series of card tricks. When he was recorded live over Facebook, Reis did a trick with a special deck of cards, spelling out “Roll Scots.”

Also part of “Happy Hour” was the chance to sample a “Crimson Omen,” a drink including cherry liqueur that Edmonds mixed for curious comrades. And speaking of great drinks, Ben ’16 and Jessica Irons Ketchum ’17, owners of Innkeeper’s Coffee in Galesburg, Illinois, provided five different Monmouth-themed beverages for part of the day.

Other features from the day were the Tartan Trivia Trolley (the “Magic Bus?”), which offered students rides to class on the rain-soaked day, provided they were willing to answer fun-fact questions about Monmouth, as well as the Amped Up Amphitheater, which was actually moved to the concourse of the Huff Athletic Center because of rain. Activities there included bags, ladder ball and pop-a-shot.

Thank You!

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Did you know?

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