For the full 24 hours of April 12, IU campuses, students, staff and alumni across the globe celebrated the first-ever IU Day. The campaign sought to promote school spirit, a greater sense of community and support for new campus initiatives, according to an IU press release.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a more dynamic and enriching environment than Indiana University,” IU Foundation President Daniel Smith said. “We wanted to create an environment and an opportunity with IU Day for students to develop bonds with the University in new ways.”
Gregory Clark, IU Student Foundation philanthropy steering committee member, worked closely with IU-Purdue University Indianapolis and other IU campuses to create a school-wide scavenger hunt to get as many students involved as possible.
Students followed the clues for their chance to win prizes such as shirts, fanny packs, gift cards and a campus parking pass. By joining the hunt, students could explore new parts of the campus and learn more about IU’s history and culture.
“This is a day to bring people together, celebrate the campus and its people and the whole spirit of the school,” Clark said.
Part of the scavenger hunt took place in Herman B. Wells Library, where graduate student and IU Archives student worker Katie Martin was stationed. Students and staff could design their own buttons, nostalgically flip through old IU yearbooks and join a coloring contest, Martin said.
Other events and giveaways were announced on Twitter using the hashtag #IUDay. The IU Art Museum’s birthday party, a session with well-known IU alumnus and actor Jonathan Banks and alumni events in Beijing, China; Dallas; Las Vegas; Germany; Brazil and all over the world were among celebrations announced on the IU Day website and Twitter.
Students, staff and alumni could also access a variety of special content online including IU trivia and quizzes, behind the scenes tour of Assembly Hall, listen to a unique #IUDay playlist featuring the famous alumni a capella group Straight No Chaser and share their own spirited pictures using the hashtag.
“IU Day is a great opportunity to learn about the parts of campus that aren’t a part of your daily life,” IU Foundation strategic projects manager Bethan Roberts said. “Students can also showcase today’s IU to those who, for either geographical or financial reasons, can’t visit campus but want to share new memories.”
One of the key initiatives for IU Day was to fundraise for various campus programs. On the IU Day website, donors can learn about educational and community programs on all IU campuses that are accepting funds.
Once someone donated, they voted for their top five favorite causes. Once the votes are counted, the causes with the most votes will be awarded a percentage of funding from $200,000 in challenge funds, according to the IU Day press release.
“While we raise money to support student scholarships and academic programs for the University, our major goal is to help students develop a new awareness and new appreciation for how wonderful this place is,” Smith said.
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