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For the past four years, UT has drawn more than 4,000 donors and $1 million during the Big Orange Give, a five-day social-media-based giving campaign that increases funds for student scholarships and support for colleges and programs on campus.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, November 8, the university aims to raise $1 million in just 24 hours. If Vol Nation can raise $500,000, alumni Jim and Judi Herbert will give another $500,000 to help us get to the $1 million goal.

“The theme is One Million. One Day. One You,” said Lauren Herbstritt, UT’s director of new media fundraising for annual giving. “Last year, participants saw the impact they made even with a small contribution.”

Donors can designate their gifts to any area of campus, specific colleges, student-led organizations, or UT’s cultural and learning centers such as Clarence Brown Theatre, the McClung Museum, UT Libraries, and WUOT and WUTK radio stations.

In addition to the Herberts’ challenge, several other generous matching donations will be in effect:

  • Alumnus Clay Jones will match the first $100 of all gifts up to a total of $25,000.
  • Pride of the Southland Band supporters Randy and Pat Doerter will match donations to the Band Service Scholarship Endowment up to $25,000.
  • Law alumnus Rick Rose will make a two-to-one match for donations of up to $250 to the UT law fund.
  • Professor Emeritus Bill Bass will match $10,000 in donations to UT Libraries.
  • Tickle College of Engineering alumnus Mike Dobb will match the first $100 of any gift to an engineering fund.

Students and faculty members feel the impact of the Big Orange Give every day in many ways. The project has helped fund 16 projects on VOLstarter, the university’s crowdfunding website benefiting student travel, research, and other initiatives.

Big Orange Give has also supported new professorships, faculty support, and research.

Throughout the week of Big Orange Give, students will take part in promotional activities. On Monday, Education Day, students will offer information about projects and programs funded by donors while the Big Orange Give Class Cab offers rides to classes and prizes for correct answers to questions.

On Tuesday, Appreciation Day, students on Johnson-Ward Pedestrian Walkway will get prizes for sharing stories of how donor support has enhanced their student experience.

On Wednesday, Participation Day, students will be encouraged to make a donation, no matter how small. On Thursday, Celebration Day, students will sign “Thank You, Donors” banners on the Pedestrian Walkway.

For more information, visit  

About Join the Journey

As the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, aspires to become a preeminent institution, the $1.1 billion Join the Journey campaign will assist in positioning the university among the nation’s elite. The comprehensive fundraising campaign focuses on increasing support for undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty support, college priorities, and athletics. The funds raised will create a student experience that reaches beyond the ordinary, shaping the next generation of leaders for the state, nation, and world.


Brooks Clark (865-974-5471,