Holy Cross Celebrates Difference Makers, Breaks Records in Fundraising Challenge

6,342 donors raised $2.6 million in 1.75 days

The largest number of donors ever: check. The most generous donations: check. The enormous photo collage of all Holy Cross Difference Makers: check. With 6,342 donors gifting a total of $2,683,777.77, this year's 175th anniversary giving challenge honoring the impact of generations of Holy Cross graduates, was a record breaker. Each donor and gift helps Holy Cross to prepare today's students for lives of impact.

The challenge — set for 1.75 days— kicked off at 6 a.m. on Jan. 25th, taking to social media in a big way. Hundreds of volunteers rolled up their sleeves and began their outreach to friends and former teammates. Throughout the weekend, students, alumni, parents, faculty and staff read stories about alumni who have made an impact — a difference — on the world, from CEOs to humanitarians to veterans.

To encourage donations and a little healthy competition, the incentives were big and bold. For each 1,000 donors, a group of challengers donated $250,000 — and with upwards of 6,300 donors, that equaled a fitting $1.75 million.

As part of the on-campus celebration during Winter Homecoming, members of the community from near and far were invited to participate in the creation of an 8'4" x 5'10" mosaic. The completed mosaic is an image of Fenwick Hall, the first building on campus, made up of 2,816 individual photos of Holy Cross community members. Students, faculty, staff, and visiting alumni and parents took photos and submitted them on campus as part of the festivities, while those not able to be at Holy Cross just had to snap a photo on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #HolyCross175 to be added. The wall-sized mural will be installed and displayed on campus for the remainder of the 175th anniversary year.

"Once again, we are overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity and participation of the Holy Cross community," said Tracy Barlok, vice president for advancement. "This community continues to support the mission of this special College in remarkable ways. We are grateful beyond words for their love, loyalty, generosity and enthusiasm. For 175 years, Holy Cross has been changing lives. With the help of our impassioned benefactors and advocates, we are poised to write the next chapter in our history."

Watch a recap of the weekend:

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