Some surprises in store for the annual Ducks Give event

The UO’s seventh Ducks Give event will take place May 12, across the UO campus and, virtually, around the world. Organizers plan to raise more than $1 million, a benchmark they’ve reached every year the event has taken place.

They also hope to reach an all-time high for the total amount raised — and more than 80 challenge gifts should help.

This year, the theme is “The Many Ways Ducks Give,” said UO senior Catherine Le, an intern with the UO’s annual philanthropy program. The economics and accounting major from Portland is helping organize Giving Day, as she’s done since her freshman year.

“The impact of donor contributions is apparent across our campus,” Le said. “The 2022 theme emphasizes all the different ways that giving day benefits our community. More than 30 areas of the university, including schools, colleges, museums, libraries and others are participating.

“If the university is a city, then all these grassroots efforts represent our university’s neighborhoods. Every year, people come together to support causes that matter to them. Many are graduates supporting their majors. Others give to initiatives that are near and dear to their hearts. Because so many participate, one day can make a tremendous difference.”

For fun, added Le, the Duck also will be handing out some gifts on campus. Prizes include Starbucks gift cards and green-and-yellow cupcakes. Exact times and locations will be a surprise, so pay attention to the UO’s Facebook and Twitter feeds for updates on the Duck’s whereabouts on May 12.

So far, supporters have issued more challenges than any other year, adding up to more than $1.4 million in matching gifts that could be unlocked. Donors will have ample opportunities to leverage their contributions and multiply the benefits by helping different areas meet challenge goals, Le said.

Some matching gifts will be unlocked once dollar goals are raised. Others are based on the number of gifts or other benchmarks. The marquee challenge is a $500,000 pledge from the Cornog family. The first $100,000 will be unlocked when donors make 25 gifts to the UO’s Innovation, Commercialization and Economic Development Fund. The remaining $400,000 will be released when the total number of donations made during giving day for all areas reaches 1,876, in honor of the year the UO was founded.

Some of the alumni and friends who have joined forces for #DucksGive include:

  • Starly Hodges, a retired teacher who graduated from the UO in 1953, who has pledged $100,000 to create a new scholarship for future teachers. To celebrate the 112 years that the College of Education has been training teachers, this challenge gift will be unlocked when the college reaches its goal of 112 donors.
  • The Oregon Scottish Rite Speech and Language Charity, which pledged $130,000 to the HEDCO Clinic’s Speech-Language-Hearing Center to provide free speech pathology services to children and youth.
  • Tykeson Dean of Arts and Sciences and Philip H. Knight Professor Bruce Blonigen, who will personally give $1,000 to the department in the College of Arts and Sciences that receives the highest number of gifts.
  • Bruce and Rosie Mortenson, whose $5,000 pledge will be unlocked once every College of Arts and Sciences department from a select list has received a gift. Their contribution will support the Hands-On Learning Fund, which provides internship awards to students in the college. Bruce Mortenson is a 1966 UO history major.
  • Patricia Steele, a 1978 geography graduate, who has given the inaugural $100,000 gift to the university’s new Environment Initiative, the UO’s transdisciplinary effort to work toward a just and livable future through research, teaching and experiential learning.
  • Colleen and Joel McCloud, who have pledged $10,000 to help PathwayOregon scholars participate in study abroad opportunities. Colleen earned her UO speech degree in 1967, and Joel completed his UO MBA the same year.
  • Sue and Todd Ringoen, both 1984 UO graduates (accounting and finance, respectively), who have pledged $5,000 for the Diversity Excellence Scholarship once 25 gifts have been made to support the scholarship fund.
  • Chip Messenger, a 1997 business administration major, who has thrown down the gauntlet for scholarship donors. Once 50 gifts have been made to any of the UO Alumni Association scholarship funds, he will give $100,000 to his local chapter’s scholarship. The Desert Ducks Scholarship is awarded with a preference for students from Arizona enrolling at the UO.

Those are just a few of many examples, Le said. If this time around is anything like past years, she added, the list will grow as the big day gets closer.

To learn more and get the latest information, Le encouraged visiting the Giving Day website, keeping tabs on the UO’s social media channels, and monitoring — and using — #DucksGive. To play a more active role, sign up to become a Ducks Give ambassador by completing the form on the website.

And keep in touch, Le added, with your favorite school, college, department or university “neighborhood” on social media to learn what’s happening on May 12.

“I’m graduating in June, so this year is kind of special to me,” Le said. “I’m confident we will reach our goals and it will be a success.”

By Ed Dorsch, University Communications