Vanderbilt Magazine

More than 7,600 members of Vanderbilt community support university on Giving Day

More than 7,600 members of the Vanderbilt community, including alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents and friends, joined together on Giving Day, April 7, to donate more than $5 million to help advance the university’s mission of education, discovery and leadership. Giving Day included more than 50 challenges offered by donors to encourage gifts and amplify impact.

“We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of generosity from the Vanderbilt community,” Assistant Vice Chancellor for Annual Giving Melinda Phillips said. “Giving Day shows the tremendous collective impact we can make in just 24 hours. Together, these gifts will make a difference for students, faculty, staff and our entire university for years to come.”

Supporters from countries around the world and all 50 states made gifts to numerous areas across the university, including schools and colleges, athletics, student organizations, Opportunity Vanderbilt, Experience Vanderbilt, the Student Hardship Fund and many more.

The totals included several challenge gifts that were unlocked to support the Association for Vanderbilt Black Alumni (AVBA) Scholarship, the Underrepresented Student Support Fund at the School of Engineering, the Next Steps program, the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center and several athletics programs and schools. Chancellor Daniel Diermeier’s challenge gift of $5,000 to support Opportunity Vanderbilt was also unlocked, as were three overall challenge gifts unlocking a total of $75,000 once 4,000 people donated.

The College of Arts and Science topped the leader boards for most dollars raised and most donors while the Class of 2021 rallied the most classmates to give back, with 211 members contributing. The Class of 1996 raised the most funds of any class, giving more than $1 million.

Giving Day included a free virtual concert featuring performances by Grammy-nominated artist Grace Potter and Chris Mann, BMus’04, along with appearances from students, alumni, faculty and staff, including Diermeier and Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletic Director Candice Lee. Students also participated in outdoor on-campus events throughout the day (while adhering to campus gathering protocols), including screen printing T-shirts on Alumni Lawn.

“I am so proud of the impact students and alumni made on Giving Day,” said Grant Brown, Class of 2021 and Senior Class Fund president. “The support we received for student orgs was incredible, and I know that this will go a long way toward offering every student the full Vanderbilt experience. Giving Day shows how resilient and supportive Commodores are, and I’m truly grateful to everyone who took part in this special day.”

To learn more about Giving Day results, visit