Pop music blared as students wearing #IUDay T-shirts walked down the Indiana Memorial Union stairs facing Seventh Street on April 18, which were adorned with ballons and red and white banners reading "IU Day".
Red and white stairs inside said "#IUDay" and “Show your IU spirit.”
IU students, staff and alumni all over the world shared their IU pride April 18 for the third annual IU Day.
“It’s a great reminder of how much this community means to us,” said Tory Blackwell, president of the IU Student Foundation.
Brittany Bauer, manager of strategic partnerships for the IU Foundation, said the day highlights both fundraising and engagement to create an inclusive, celebratory atmosphere.
After studying other schools with days focused solely on fundraising, such as the University of Michigan’s Giving Blueday and the Purdue Day of Giving, Bauer said IUF decided the engagement component was critical for IU’s celebration.
People could participate in online fundraising, social media challenges, alumni events and on-campus activities.
“Make the day what you want it to be,” Bauer said. “It’s a choose-your-own-adventure-style day.”
Several tents and swag stations were set up around campus as part of a student scavenger hunt from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Blackwell said the hunt was a good way for students to interact with parts of campus their class schedule might not include and learn about student organizations and departments with which they might not be familiar.
Sophomore Neev Kadakia picked up his clue sheet from the IUSF table at the Woodburn clock tower, where students collected swag and pinned their hometowns onto state and world maps.
Kadakia said he has grown to love the IU-Bloomington campus through his two years here.
“You want to show your appreciation for something you love,” Kadakia said.
Knowing the scavenger hunt was coming, Kadakia accessed the clues online and proactively completed the answers to maximize his limited break between classes.
At each of the 15 stations, students participated in an activity to earn a stamp for their clue sheets. When finished, they exchanged their papers for prizes based on the number of stamps they had collected.
Three stamps won an IU Day lanyard, five amounted to an IU Day popsocket, seven secured an IU Day tank top and 10 meant swag plus an added entrance in a grand prize drawing to win a $250 Amazon gift card and a behind-the-scenes tour of the IU Athletics facilities.
At the WFIU scavenger hunt station near the Radio and Television Building, students took pictures with IU-themed props at a photo booth and recorded their favorite IU memories.
Laura Baich, marketing director for WFIU, said the recordings might be used for an IU-themed episode of "Profiles," a weekly interview program, or for programming during the bicentennial.
Baich said WFIU participated in the scavenger hunt to increase awareness about public radio and public television, and to thank IU.
“We love IU,” Baich said.
She wore red and white sneakers and a red IU sweatshirt.
Bauer said many schools and buildings had independent IU celebrations with food and school-branded swag.
Spontaneous bus trivia and an unannounced performance by the cast of "West Side Story" at 2:15 p.m. outside Hodge Hall added to the festive environment.
While no fundraising events took place on campus, several campaigns encouraged giving online.
A crowdfunding website allowed donors to choose which schools or programs they specifically wanted to support, or they could donate to the IU Day general fund.
Challenge funds financed $1 for student scholarships per IU Day snapchat filter used between 1 and 4 p.m.
Social media users could compete in challenges called "IU is Everywhere," "Best-Dressed Pet" and "Best-Dressed Future Alum." The winners will earn $2,000 toward an IU cause of their choice.
IUF also encouraged the use of #IUDay on social media. Last year, the hashtag was used as a trending item on Twitter, with 12,588 uses. This year there were more than 14,419 likes, hearts, retweets and hashtag uses.
In terms of fundraising, Bauer said this year IUF focused on participation rather than dollar amounts.
IUF matched donations between $50 and $1,000 from first-time givers. Running totals online showed total gifts, rather than dollars.
As of the next morning, more than 3,400 total gifts had been made with $80,000 raised in challenge dollars.
An online interactive map pinpointed the IU Day celebrations happening all over the world, including numerous alumni chapter events.
IUF posted videos and activities online to promote IU pride at any location.
While the IU Day campus and online presence was markedly different than normal, Bauer advised people to put the single day into perspective and continue giving and showing school pride all year long.
“It doesn’t just stop at midnight,” Bauer said.
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