By Makenzie Winkler
On Eastern Kentucky University’s (EKU) fourth annual Giving Day on April 19, 2023, donors from every state, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, helped surpass the goal of 2,292 donors. This goal represented the number of graduates in the Spring 2022 commencement ceremonies. On the 2023 Giving Day, there were a total of 2,563 donors, whose donations reached a sum of $432,600.
“These donations will support our students directly through scholarships and program enhancements,” said EKU President David McFaddin. “Each year, our EKU family rises to the occasion. You can feel the love for this university and the passion our alumni and friends have in the mission we have as the School of Opportunity.”
During Giving Day, McFaddin announced the expansion of the EKU BookSmart program to all students. EKU BookSmart has provided undergraduate students with free textbooks since Fall 2021. Beginning Fall 2023, the program will expand to graduate and doctoral students online and on campus, making EKU the first public university to offer free textbooks to all degree-seeking students.
“That means the 2,260 graduate students—students working in master’s and doctoral programs here at EKU—are going to be able to get their textbooks for free so that they can pursue their degree and achieve all that they want to achieve,” said McFaddin. “We are the School of Opportunity. We invest in our students every day, and we are proud to serve more Kentuckians who go back to work to power our communities than any other institution in the Commonwealth.”
This year’s Giving Day theme was “Invest in Excellence,” demonstrating how donors help make the Eastern Experience excellent. Of the 2,563 donors who invested in excellence this year, 672 were first-time donors and 516 were employee donors.
EKU’s College of Business earned the title of most philanthropic college for Giving Day 2023. EKU Athletics claimed the most philanthropic affinity on campus, alongside EKU Football which scored the most philanthropic athletic team. Chi Omega was this year’s most philanthropic Greek chapter, and the most philanthropic class year was the Spring 2023 graduating class.
Several additional challenge gifts were provided by the EKU Alumni Board, Foundation Board, President’s Cabinet, deans and generous individuals across the university community. To see more information about Giving Day 2023, visit go.eku.edu/givingday.