Ford School Alumni step up to the giving challenge in difficult times

November 30, 2020

The Ford School launched the Alumni Giving Challenge in summer 2019, with members of the Ford School Committee offering $50,000 in challenge funds. Despite an especially trying year, alumni stepped up to the challenge with incredible support for the Ford School Student Emergency Fund, and even donated their time and expertise to help students navigate new career realities. In the end, we’re thrilled to share that the Ford School received the full matching gift. 

“The world looked a bit different when the Challenge was launched,” says Ford School Dean Michael S. Barr. “What hasn’t changed, though, is our community’s deep commitment to supporting and training the next generation of leaders dedicated to the public good.” 

The first milestone was met in January 2020, with alumni involvement growing at a steady rate, and $25,000 in matching funds were released. Like so many things, the Challenge was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the Challenge garnered incredible participation from Ford School alumni, who gave both of their philanthropy and of their time.

“The Committee felt that alumni participation was the most important aspect of the Challenge,” explains Sue Johnson, director of development. “They wanted to encourage  all alumni to give, and emphasized that gifts of any size counted toward meeting the goal.” 

In total, 354 alumni contributed, making a tremendous impact for Ford School students by providing internship, scholarship, emergency support, and more. Many participants made their first gift ever to the Ford School, or increased the amount of their annual gift. 

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of the Ford School Committee and our alumni for their generous contributions, which have gone to directly support our students in these trying times,” said Barr. “Each gift—whether measured in dollars or minutes spent mentoring our students—helps us fulfill our mission.” 

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