A total of 212 donors made gifts to Samford University during a concentrated two-day online fundraising effort known as The Big Give June 13-14.  The program--the first of its kind at Samford--pushed the percentage of Samford alumni giving from 9.5 percent to 10.25 per cent for the fiscal year ending June 30.

A total of 170 donors either were first-time givers or were giving for the first time this fiscal year.

The 36-hour effort raised $12,035 for Samford's Annual Fund.

"We appreciate these donors and their gifts, and are excited that we were able to engage with so many--alumni, parents, friends, faculty and staff," said Kimberly Cripps, Samford's director of annual giving.  "Even though The Big Give ended at 9 p.m. on Friday night, gifts continue to come in, positively impacting our students as well as the alumni participation rate."

Cripps noted that one alumnus who had given to Samford in the past but not recently re-engaged with the school, giving $1,000.  "He cited his gratefulness for Bill and Audrey Cowley and their persistent love and care for missionary kids (the children of foreign missionaries attending Samford)," said Cripps.  The Cowleys were former missionaries.  Bill taught at Samford from 1977 until 1993, and he and Audrey were faculty hosts at Samford's London Study Center during the summers of 1993 and 1997.

Another alum, May graduate Meredith Toering, made her first gift all the way from Iraq after noticing the campaign through Facebook posts from David Goodwin, director of alumni programs.  Toering is on assignment with a medical missions group.

Goodwin also noted that 1991 graduate Todd Heifner posted challenges to alumni through Facebook as well, encouraging his Samford friends to make gifts and also pledging to match gifts received during the final two hours of the campaign with $5 for each pledge.

Cripps encouraged alumni who have not yet given this year to do so by the end of the fiscal year June 30.  "Every gift matters, regardless of the amount," she said.  To make a gift, please go to   www.samford.edu/giving.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.