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Last year, UT drew nearly 5,000 donors and raised $1.45 million during the Big Orange Give, its day-of-giving campaign that increases funds for areas all across campus, including student scholarships, colleges, and programs.

“The success of the Big Orange Give shows the power of the Volunteer family,” said Interim Chancellor Wayne T. Davis. “This generosity propels us toward achieving excellence in all that we do.”

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. EST Wednesday, November 14, the university aims to raise $2 million in just 24 hours. If Vol Nation can raise $1.5 million, Charlie and Moll Anderson will give another $500,000 to help reach the $2 million goal.

“This year, we are building on what has become a tradition with this $2 million goal,” said Lauren Herbstritt, UT’s director of new media fundraising. “Last year, 66 percent of gifts during Big Orange Give were under $100. 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 Andersons’ challenge, several other generous matching donations will be in effect:

  • As he did last year, alumnus Clay Jones will match the first $100 of all gifts up to a total of $25,000, as will alumni Charlie and Nancy Wagner and the Philanthropy and Stewardship Committee of the Alumni Board of Directors.
  • Volunteer Traditions has challenged the Volunteer family to get 100 new monthly donors. If the challenge is met, the company will donate $10,000.
  • Alumni Ron and Don Frieson will give $10,000 to the fraternity or sorority in the large and small organization divisions, respectively, with the most donors.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and VFL Joshua Dobbs will match campus-wide gifts that come through social media up to $5,000.

Students and faculty members feel the impact of the Big Orange Give every day in many ways. The campaign has supported scholarships, new professorships, faculty support, facilities, and research.

Throughout the week of Big Orange Give, students will take part in promotional activities. On Tuesday, 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 Wednesday, Participation Day, students will be encouraged to make a donation, no matter how small. Student alumni associates will staff the Big Orange Give Social Command Center at the Tyson Alumni House and help produce personalized videos and thank-you tweets for donors.

On Thursday, Celebration Day, students will sign “Thank You, Donor” banners on Johnson-Ward Pedestrian Walkway.

For more information, visit Big Orange Give.

About the Join the Journey Campaign

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.


Mallorie Mendence (865-974-5801,