The University of Indianapolis’ seventh annual “UIndy Day” took place on Thursday, April 21. According to Director of Annual Giving and Development Writer Lora Teliha, this was a day where the university wanted all Greyhounds, from alumni to
students, faculty, staff and supporters, to show their University of Indianapolis spirit to the world by wearing crimson and gray all day.
“As far as what to expect, it’s really a big online celebration, so we want everybody to follow our university Facebook, Twitter [and] Instagram accounts, and share any of their favorite UIndy memories and their favorite UIndy photos and their stories and what they love most about the University of Indianapolis,” Teliha said. “And it’s also a day where everybody comes together to support the university and the students alike; we really want this to be a day where everybody can participate at the level that they feel comfortable, and we really encourage them to give back at a level that they’re comfortable.”
Vice President for Student and Campus Affairs & Dean of Students Kory Vitangeli said that students should see a lot of social media attention, social media posting and people talking about ways that the university impacted them on UIndy Day. According to Vitangeli, students should always consider giving back to an institution that has helped them, but she said she also understands that for current students a financial contribution is not always possible.
“Even something on social media, whether it be on Twitter or Instagram, about how the institution has impacted them or helped them,” Vitangeli said. “And keeping in mind for maybe when they financially are able to give back more as an alumni, to consider giving back later if they are not able to give financially right now.”
Teliha said that students were able to enjoy and give back to the university during this day by first and foremost getting online and using #UIndyDay when posting their favorite memories and photos. According to Teliha, the university wanted the students to stop by the UIndy Day Headquarters, which is on the first floor of the Schwitzer Student Center, and the Student Engagement Space between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
“We’re going to have treats and we really want students to help us by signing thank you cards for our donors and we want them to try and make a gift if they’re able,” Teliha said. “Grady will be available for taking pictures, and we also want them to be able to record a special thank you video to donors to show their appreciation for all that they have done for our students.”
According to Teliha, UIndy alumni were able to give back to the university as well. Everybody could do this by promoting their UIndy spirit and through gifts to either UIndy scholarships, UIndy funds or their favorite program on campus as well.
“Gifts of all sizes matter to the university because it all adds up,” Teliha said. “We have thousands of donors every year, and we really encourage people to give back to show their appreciation; what a lot of people don’t realize is that tuition doesn’t cover the entire cost of the university and donor support really helps to make up that difference and make a lot of things possible for students.”
Vitangeli said that the hope is whenever anybody is at UIndy or leaves UIndy, that they feel some sort of connection or can think back to a time maybe that they were helped by either the university or someone at the university. Having specific days like UIndy Day are a time for people to reflect on the ways they can remember a time when they were helped or as alums to give back and to come full circle, according to Vitangeli.
“I think everything that we do and how we continue to thrive as a university, alumni are a huge part of that because they keep the university’s memory and history alive; they’re the ones that are going out and sharing their experience of the university and encouraging other people to attend, so alumni remain the lifeblood of the institution even after they’re gone,” Vitangeli said. “If we didn’t have alumni that were out there supporting the university we wouldn’t be as successful as we are.”
Teliha said that in the past, gifts on UIndy Day have supported a variety of funds, from individual academic departments to UIndy sports and UIndy scholarships. This day is mainly about the number of donors, rather than the money raised, according to Teliha.
“We’ve always had a donor goal as a priority over the number of dollars that we raise, because we really want it to be a day when everybody can participate,” Teliha said “And especially for when people that have never donated before, people, students and alumni will be able to give through Venmo this year and PayPal, so we find that’s a really encourage way to get easy ways to get people to participle, so I would say this year we’re definitely striving for over 450 donors. We get about 500 donors every year from this specific day.”