Day of Giving raises more than $1 million

For the first time in the history of the University of Central Arkansas, the institution has raised more than $1 million in a single Day of Giving event.

During the Sixth Annual Day of Giving, held on March 5, the university raised $1,126,580, another all-time record for the university.

This is a 49 percent increase over the previous year’s record of $757,939. A record of 1,668 donors contributed during the event. Donor participants were from 47 states and Puerto Rico, eight countries, and also included a constituent in Antarctica. 

UCA President Houston Davis announced the news during a special Day of Giving celebration the following day. 

“Setting a record for participants and then reaching, and surpassing, the $1 million mark is a remarkable feat! This shows the incredible support of our alumni, donors and community partners,” said Davis. “They are making a huge difference in the lives of our students, and their generosity will be felt in the state and beyond for generations.”

Continuing to outpace itself, the annual Day of Giving drive has raised $2,427,363 for students and programs since its inception in 2015. 

University of Central Arkansas President Dr. Houston Davis announces the record-breaking results from the school’s annual Day of Giving. (Sonja J. Keith photo)

During the 24-hour fundraising campaign, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends were challenged to make a gift of any amount to support the campus. 

The Day of Giving theme, “Take Your Pick,” references the numerous funds available for donors to choose from during the campaign. By providing multiple funds to pick from, donors were able to select and support the areas that most aligned with their specific interests.

Funds raised during Day of Giving help provide for numerous student, campus and community needs including scholarships, state-of-the-art equipment, experiential learning opportunities and first-class exhibits and performances on campus that are available to the larger communities of Conway, Faulkner County and Central Arkansas.

“Day of Giving is an especially inspiring fundraising effort,” said Haley Fowler, director of Annual Giving. “Students, faculty and staff from across our campus come together in a determined effort to raise funds for scholarships and programs. The energy this year was amazing!”

The celebratory event featured UCA cheerleaders and members of the UCA band as well as a cookout for campus partners and donors who helped make Day of Giving a success. 

In support of Day of Giving, the Student Government Association hosted a fundraising station in the Student Center to focus attention on students supporting students. The SGA also provided a 100 percent matching gift for the first $2,000 in student donations. The matching gift will support the Emergency Student Scholarship Fund through the UCA Foundation’s annual fund.

Numerous other departments identified challenge matches that were unlocked for Day of Giving. The following donors pledged a matching challenge to benefit a variety of funds: Gary Bunn, Janet Filer, Carolyn Ishee, Michael Mills, Louis Nadelson, Vicki Groves-Scott and Karen Sullards (College of Education Enhancement Fund); Gayle Seymour (College of Fine Arts and Communication); Peter Mehl (College of Liberal Arts); Tom Williams (College of Liberal Arts and the College of Fine Arts and Communication); Stephen Addison (College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics); Joe and Connie Whisenhunt (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre); and Acxiom, American Safeguard Insurance, Conway Development Corporation, Conway Regional Health System, Dave Creek Media and Edafio Technology (Conductor).

Food for the celebration was provided by Centennial Bank; grilling services were provided by UCA Athletics.

To see more details about the results and the breakdown of individual funds, visit