In these uncertain and challenging times, the spirit of Lenoir-Rhyne is evident by all who contributed to support our students,” said LR President Dr. Fred Whitt. “We are encouraged and inspired by the generosity of our Bear family and Hickory community. The extraordinary results show that we are stronger than ever.”
Like all institutions across the country, Lenoir-Rhyne University has fallen into a strange quiet in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Since mid-March, the campus has been silent with students and faculty working from home. Despite the challenges, LR is achieving success. Faculty are developing creative ways to deliver classes online, coaches and athletes continue to prepare for next academic year and staff are working diligently to ensure services continue with minimal disruptions. In the wake of the crisis, the virus cannot silent the resilient spirit of Bear Nation.
LR closed out its third annual 24-hour Bears Have Heart Giving Day with more than 600 generous donors – alumni, friends, family, students and community members – giving more than $260,000 to support scholarships, academics, athletics and student support services.
"In these uncertain and challenging times, the spirit of Lenoir-Rhyne is evident by all who contributed to support our students," said LR President Dr. Fred Whitt. "We are encouraged and inspired by the generosity of our Bear family and Hickory community. The extraordinary results show that we are stronger than ever."
While the campus picnic was canceled for March 24, LR strengthened fundraising efforts and increased engagement through an online, social media-driven giving campaign. In conjunction with giving day, Lenoir-Rhyne athletics hosted a virtual team builder competition to increase awareness, raise money and celebrate philanthropy. On the rescheduled giving day, Tuesday, May 19, different challenges were issued to inspire others to give back. In order to encourage participation, anonymous donors sponsored a $45,000 challenge gift if the university secured donations from 450 individuals in 24 hours. All individuals who made gifts of $5 or more received an optional LR T-shirt as a thank you for their donation.
"The final total far surpassed the campaign goal to collect $100,000 to support academic programs, athletics and student affairs," Whitt said. "We are humbled by the support that our Bear family has shown for all areas of the university during this campaign. Thanks to your contributions and the efforts of all who supported the campaign, we reached a historic giving total and exceeded our goal for the third consecutive year, which is something to celebrate."
Giving Day 2020 built on the success of last year's 24-hour giving campaign and brought in $140,000 more than in 2019. Gifts will be used immediately to fund scholarships, career development, athletic programs and a student crisis assistance fund.
Not too Late to Make a Gift
Even though giving day is over, contributions can still be made at lr.edu/IGive2LRU through the fiscal yearend on May 31, 2020.