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Ninth annual Giving Tuesday raises millions of dollars for scholarships and funds

The university’s Giving Tuesday program was able to raise over $2.8 million for various programs and funds. (Courtesy of Kristen Traynor-Mytko)

The university’s ninth annual Giving Tuesday raised over $2.8 million for scholarships and programs across various academic disciplines. 

Throughout the entire month of November, there were featured funds across all eight of the university’s campuses that received donations. 

Over 5,000 donations were made to the various funds, with $206,775 matched from volunteer boards and the Kent State University Foundation, a not-for-profit that handles gifts donated to the university and works with donor wishes to manage, invest and administer them. 

Kristen Traynor-Mytko, assistant director in communications and annual giving for the Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, said that the Kent State University Foundation matching donations is an integral part of Giving Tuesday. 

“We have an application process where each college or campus or some of the units on campus will submit a fund that they would like to fundraise for, but at the same time they also have matching funds that they secure,” Traynor-Mytko said. “When the funds go up, they already have their match on top of the chance to get our matching funds.” 

The featured fund that received the most money this year was the Baseball Enhancement Fund, which earned $113,293 as of Dec. 7. The money raised will be used to make improvements within the program, such as upgrading the technology and software at Schoonover Stadium. 

There were 58 funds in total participating in Giving Tuesday, including the Black Alumni Scholarship, CARES Basic Needs Student Fund and the Design Innovation Development Fund, all of which surpassed their goals. Traynor-Mytko said seeing the results of Giving Tuesday is a rewarding experience.

“One of my favorite parts of working for Kent State is getting to be involved in Giving Tuesday,” Traynor-Mytko said. “I get to see people from all over come together to help programs that matter to them, to offer opportunities to students, and it just feels so nice to see people come together like that.” 

For its first time amongst the other featured funds, the Sandy Taylor Emerging Media and Technology Memorial Scholarship exceeded its goal in donations. 

The scholarship was established by Sandy Taylor’s family after she passed away from cancer. Taylor’s family wanted to benefit the school where she worked as a business manager. 

Laurel Wirtanen-Siloy, director of philanthropy and alumni engagement for the College of Communication and Information, worked with Taylor’s family to establish the scholarship. Wirtanen-Siloy said Taylor knew the importance of scholarships in changing students’ lives. 

“Sandy always thought it would be really important and critical that students have access to scholarship resources, because she saw that students couldn’t often pay the full cost of tuition or room and board, and she just thought scholarships were so important,” Wirtanen-Siloy said. “Her family knew that this would be something that she would be very happy about.” 

Taylor’s family was hoping to reach their goal of $25,000 for the scholarship’s first Giving Tuesday but ended up surpassing their goal and reaching over $50,000. 

With the expected end total doubled, the Sandy Taylor EMAT Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to one student in the 2024-2025 school year, and two students the following year. 

“Scholarship basically means opportunity to students who might not have the resources to enroll in the School of Emerging Media and Technology,” Wirtanen-Siloy said. 

Wirtanen-Siloy described her job of working with families and donors to create new opportunities for students as a really fun, rewarding experience. 

“It’s nice to be a small part of that process, and then see the outcome knowing that a student will be able to have their educational dreams become their reality,” Wirtanen-Siloy said.

Kayla Gleason is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Kayla Gleason, Reporter
Kayla is a sophomore journalism major. She enjoys writing about the current events happening around campus.
Contact her at [email protected]

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