Already being hailed as the biggest, boldest 24-hour day of giving ever, Wittenberg’s annual Commit To Witt kicks off Thursday, March 11 – the same day as Wittenberg’s founding back in 1845 with a range of opportunities to invest in Wittenberg and secure the University’s next 175 years. The day-long event will culminate in a special virtual presentation to announce the public launch of the University’s largest, most comprehensive campaign in Wittenberg’s history.
"As we prepare the final touches for the public launch of Wittenberg’s largest campaign to date, there is much to celebrate as a community," said Rebecca Kocher, vice president for advancement and alumni engagement. "This campaign, the most ambitious in Wittenberg’s more than 175-year history, reflects our upward trajectory and commitment to our People, Place and the Present. 'Having Light: The Campaign For Wittenberg University' also builds on our strong foundation to attract and retain more Witt-fit students, broaden access to career exploration and opportunities, attract and support campus expertise, steward our historic campus, and meet our campus’ most pressing needs."
The goal for this year’s Commit to Witt event is $500,000 in one day, and excitement is already growing about the opportunity to support Wittenberg. More than 135 alumni, faculty, and staff have also agreed to serve as University ambassadors throughout the day, sharing social media content, generating more engagement in this effort, and encouraging giving among their peers.
Leveraging its fun, interactive crowdfunding platform, Commit to Witt will offer several options to match the various philanthropic interests of those participating. Areas for support include the Wittenberg Fund, the new Wittenberg Opportunity Fund, faculty development, endowed positions, diversity and inclusion, Tiger Club, a class scholarship, campus ministries, academic departments, and multiple other avenues. Individuals can make their gifts early and/or sign up to be an ambassador during the day by visiting here.
Throughout the annual Commit to Witt event and in addition to sharing content, participants will take part in virtual pep rallies, fight for ambassador bragging rights, race to the top of several leaderboards, and so much more. Please consider making a gift as a way to pass Wittenberg’s light on to current and future students. Participants can also help Wittenberg unlock more than $170,000 in challenges and matches by making #Commit2Witt gifts and encouraging fellow alumni and friends to do the same.
To make this year’s Commit to Witt even more extraordinary, a special video presentation will be released at 8 p.m. to publicly launch the campaign (www.wittenberg.edu/havinglight). “Having Light: The Campaign for Wittenberg University” endeavors to raise $100 million in support of all that defines the institution, especially the people, who inquire, create, inspire, and compete here; the place, where we come together as a community and welcome others to learn and grow; and the present, when the next generation of Wittenberg graduates learns to pass on its light. The Wittenberg torch has shone brightly since 1845. Together, we can keep it lit for generations.
In 2020, Commit to Witt raised $457,716 with 2,309 gifts from 2,058 donors with the average gift size being in the amount of $198. Gifts from four countries, 50 states, and Washington, D.C. also were received. To make your gift early, become a #Commit2Witt ambassador, or take part in the numerous challenges, go to www.wittenberg.edu/commit2witt.
Here are some of the challenges:
- 1:1 Match - Summer Student Research - Mary (Castle) and Phil Duncan, both class of 1970, know how important hands-on experience can be. That's why they are providing a 1:1 match for any gift to the Summer Student Research fund, up to $2,000.
- 1:1 Match - Career Exploration & Outcomes - Alumni like Janet E. Jackson '75, know the importance of providing students access to career outcome support. Janet will match 1:1, up to $5,000, to support programming and access to career exploration, preparation and networking opportunities.
- 1:1 Match - Science Labs - Alumni Steve '95 and Laurice' 95 Moore are passionate about the sciences and hands-on experiences guiding career exploration. Providing state-of-the-art science laboratory experiences to current students is important to foster ideas, information and discovery. Steve and Laurice will match dollar for dollar, up to $5,000 all gifts to refurbish our campus science lab spaces.
- 1:1 Match - Campus Beautification - Vice President for Finance and Administration Rob Young knows campus embodies a history of joint effort. Now this place is ours to pass on, leaving it better than we found it. Join him today with a gift to the Campus Beautification Fund, and he will match it 1:1 up to $1,845.
- 1:1 Match - Men's Soccer - Tom Kaiser '79 challenges fellow alumni to Tiger Up! On March 11, he is offering a 1:1 match for gifts made in support of Men's Soccer, up to $2,000.
- 1:1 Match - Faculty Excellence & Innovation - Wittenberg faculty are the best. To show their support, Alan '69 and Pamela '69 Stewart are offering a 1:1 match for gifts made to Faculty Excellence & Innovation funds, up to $5,000.
- 1:1 Match - Experiential Learning - Alumni like Gina Schaefer '93 know the importance of providing students access to career outcome support. Gina will match gifts 1:1, up to $1,000, to support programming and access to career exploration, preparation and networking opportunities.
- 1:1 Match - Wittenberg Guild Challenge - For decades, the Wittenberg Guild has been raising scholarship monies to support local students enrolled at the University. That's why they have secured a 1:1 match up to $3,000 from the Quinlan Foundation, for donations made to the Martha Rodgers Scholarship on #Commit2Witt.
- 1:1 Match - Class of 1979 Scholarship - Alumni of the Class of 1979 are establishing an endowed scholarship to support current and future students! On #Commit2Witt gifts to the Class of ’79 Scholarship will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $2,000.
- 1:1 Match - Greek Life Happy Hour Challenge - The ATO brothers are dedicated to Greek Life on campus. To show their Witt Spirit on #Commit2Witt, they are offering a 1:1 match up to $1,000 for ANY gifts to the Greek Life fund during Happy Hour.
- 1:1 Match - Department of Business & Economics - Alumni Rick '69 and Susan '71 Sterling are excited to support our academic programs on #Commit2Witt. That's why they are offering a 1:1 match up to $5,000 for any donations to the Department of Business & Economics fund, as part of the Business/Education Challenge!
- 1:1 Match – Veler Endowed Chair in English - Dr. Veler taught hundreds of students to love literature and the English language. To celebrate the great teacher he was, four members of the Class of 1958 are providing a 1:1 match for any gift made to the Veler Endowed Chair, up to $20,000, until the position is fully funded!
- 1:1 Match - Wittenberg's Greatest Need - Make your gift to support Wittenberg's greatest need and double your impact! To kick off #Commit2Witt, Joe Nordsieck '69 will generously match the first $5,000 donated to the Wittenberg Fund.
- 1:1 Match - Department of Business & Economics - Alumni Rick '69 and Susan '71 Sterling are excited to support our academic programs on #Commit2Witt. That's why they are offering a 1:1 match up to $5,000 for any donations to the Department of Business & Economics fund, as part of the Business/Education Challenge.
- 1:1 Match - Tiger Club Pride - Athletic Director Brian Agler '80 and his wife Robin challenge athletic alumni, sport fans, and student-athletes to Tiger Up! On #Commit2Witt they will match dollar for dollar all donations to the Athletic Tiger Club fund up to $3,000.
- 1:1 Match - Experiential Learning - Alumni like Gina Schaefer, '93 know the importance of providing students access to career outcome support. Gina will match gifts 1:1, up to $1,000, to support programming and access to career exploration, preparation and networking opportunities.
- 1:1 Match - McClain Center for Diversity & Inclusion - Join Derrick Braziel ’09, Chris Olson ’03, David Atkins ’00, Brian May ’99, and Laurie Griffin ’79 in supporting the McClain Center for Diversity and Inclusion Fund to provide enhanced student programming, leadership development opportunities, and more! They will match 1:1 the first $1,845 given to this fund.
- 20 gifts for the Student Emergency Fund - Vice President & Dean of Students Casey Gill and her husband Patrick are dedicated to student support. Twenty gifts to support the Student Emergency Fund will unlock an additional $1,845.
- Provost Challenge - Faculty Support - Wittenberg faculty work tirelessly to support student learning. To help give them the opportunity to learn and grow as teacher-scholars, Provost Mattson will donate $1,845 when 20 gifts are made to the Faculty Development Fund.
- Tiger Up: President's Challenge - To motivate and inspire the Wittenberg community to Tiger Up and give generously, President Frandsen and his wife Sharon have offered a challenge. When we reach 1,845 gifts on March 11, they will donate an extra $2,500 to Wittenberg.
- HVNGLT Ambassador Challenge - Board of Directors member, Bob Merzweiler '76, knows the importance of sharing your Witt story! He will make a $4,864.58 donation (phone lingo for: HVNGLT) in honor of the top three ambassadors for Commit to Witt.
- #WittWed Couples Challenge - #WittWed couple Peter '04 and Molly '05 Franz love Wittenberg and are part of a family legacy of #WittWed sweethearts. That's why they are challenging other Tiger couples to give back and will donate $1,845 when 250 #WittWed couples donate on #Commit2Witt!
- Founder's Day - 700 Donations Challenge - We are so excited for the launch of our Having Light Campaign on March 11. To celebrate Founder's Day, $1 will be donated for the first 700 gifts on #Commit2Witt.
- Business & Economics vs. Education - Join the friendly competition by giving your gift to support either the Business & Economics or the Education Department. At stakes = bragging rights and Assistant Chair for the day.
- 1:1 Match - CBS Scholarship - On #Commit2Witt Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Xi Chi Chapter Alumni are giving back to the CBS Scholarship Fund with a 1:1 match, up to $2,500. Tiger Up!
- 1:1 Match - McClain Center - Make your gift to support of the McClain Center for Diversity and Inclusion on #Commit2Witt and double your impact, as Board Emeriti Member Kenneth Scott '72 and his wife Willie Scott '74 will generously match 1:1 the next $1,000 to this fund.
- Having Light - Class Participation Challenge - Vice President Rebecca Kocher and her husband Brad love a little friendly competition. To celebrate the launch of our Having Light campaign and alumni participation, they will donate $2,500 in honor of the class with the most gifts by 8 p.m. ET.
- Alumni Board 50 States Challenge – The Wittenberg Alumni Board know that Witt Alumni are the best! They will donate $3,000 when gifts are received from all 50 states on #Commit2Witt.
- 1:1 Match – Witt Opportunity Scholarship – Assistant Vice President Kristina Devine and her husband Paul believe in the power of unrestricted scholarships! To celebrate #Commit2Witt, they will double your impact with a 1:1 match for the first $1,000 donated to the Witt Opportunity Scholarship.
- 1:1 Match – Witt Fund - Steve Neely '75 and Mary Alice Schryver Neely '75 challenge their classmates to give back on #Commit2Witt with a 1:1 match up to $2,500, for gifts made to the Wittenberg Fund.
- 1:1 Match - Witt Fund - Alumni know the power of unrestricted giving. Join Ohio Alumni of the Class of 2002 as they offer a 1:1 match for gifts to the Witt Fund, up to $10,000
- 1:1 Match - Student Access & Scholarships - #WittWed couple Scott '01 and Deanna '99 Ness know the value of a Witt education and the importance of scholarships to make that dream a reality. On #Commit2Witt, they will provide a 1:1 match up to $1,875, for donations in support of the Wittenberg Opportunity Scholarship.
- 1:1 Match - Rise Up! CBS Scholarship Fund - Rise Up! On #Commit2Witt, Board Emeriti member Ronald Woods '69 and his wife, Wendy '71, will generously match dollar for dollar the first $1,000 donated to the CBS Scholarship Fund.
- 1:1 Match - Power Lunch for Tiger Club - What's Your Favorite Power Lunch? Ours is worth $1,845. From 12-2 p.m. ET, Board of Directors Chair, Bill Edwards '89, will match dollar for dollar up to $1,845 any donation made to the Tiger Club.
- 1:1 Match - Celebrating the Having Light Launch - To celebrate the launch of our Having Light campaign and keep this party going, Cheryl Patterson Cooper ’82 will match the next $5,000 to the Wittenberg Fund dollar for dollar in honor of her father Jim, who sent 3 children to Witt and was a longtime member of the Benjamin Prince Society.
- 1:1 Match - Supporting the Education Department's Student Teachers - Dr. P. Kay Carl knows the value of quality educators in our community. That's why, as part of the Business & Econ vs. Education Challenge, she is matching any gift to the Education Department's Student Teacher Fund, dollar for dollar, up to $6,000.
- 1:1 Match - CBS Scholarship Bonus Match - Bonus Unlock - Now that we have UNLOCKED the Alpha Phi Alpha Xi Chi $2,500 match for the CBS Scholarship Fund, Harrison Sewell '12 challenges alumni to Tiger Up! As a Bonus Match, he will match dollar for dollar the next $200 gifted to this scholarship.
- 1:1 Match - Dine & Donate! - Join Vice President for Enrollment, Carola Thorson, during the dinner hour as she matches 1:1 your gift for student scholarships, up to $1,845.
- 1:1 Match - Campus Ministries - In celebration of #Commit2Witt, Director of Human Resources Mary Beth Walter and her husband, Pastor Tom Walter, will match dollar for dollar the first $1,000 donated to Campus Ministries, in support of activities to benefit the spiritual wellness of our campus community.
- 1:1 Match - Board Emeritus Witt Fund Challenge - Ho Pak Kong '50, emeritus member of Wittenberg’s Board of Directors, will match every donation to the Witt Fund, up to $40,000!