CORVALLIS, Ore. – A 24-hour fundraising event last week within Oregon State University yielded more than 4,000 gifts totaling more than $1.1 million, the majority of which will directly benefit students.

The total raised Wednesday among OSU alumni, faculty, staff, parents, students and others during Dam Proud Day, an event led by the Oregon State University Foundation, surpassed by more than $500,000 the amount raised during the first giving day event in 2019.

“The Oregon State community has a great deal to be proud of,” said OSU Interim President Becky Johnson. “The philanthropy provided as part of Dam Proud Day demonstrates that Beaver Nation is all in for our students and OSU’s land grant mission in Oregon and beyond. Thanks to this incredible outpouring of philanthropic support, OSU will be aided in advancing student progress to graduation, assisting students impacted by the pandemic and helping to serve the public.”

Dam Proud Day participants could choose to contribute to more than 70 funds across the university, including funds benefiting colleges, departments, Extension programs, the arts and athletics.

A fund to help students experiencing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic received the most dollars, closing the day at more than $131,000, thanks to more than 200 gifts from donors who responded to an opportunity presented by three alumni.

To create a permanent source of support for students facing unexpected challenges, OSU Foundation board chair John Stirek, his wife Kate Stirek and past foundation chair Ruth Beyer agreed to give $100,000 to endow the Dean of Students’ Emergency Fund, asking other donors to provide $25,000 for immediate use. OSU President Emeritus Ed Ray made the gift that crossed the $25,000 milestone.

Other top funds with the most dollars raised included: Alumni Association Scholarship Fund (more than $98,000); College of Agricultural Sciences (more than $67,000); and College of Forestry (more than $64,000).

Foundation trustees will provide $65,000 to reward the day’s top-performing programs, including OSU Cheer and Dance, which received the most gifts (373). Other top funds for the highest number of gifts included: men’s rowing (279) and wrestling (206).

“The enthusiasm demonstrated by OSU Foundation and OSU Alumni Association board members and other challenge donors made for an exhilarating experience,” said OSU Foundation CEO and President Shawn L. Scoville. “The momentum they created grew rapidly as thousands of donors responded on Dam Proud Day, making gifts of all sizes to support many, many areas at the university. We are grateful for and inspired by every single gift.”

Donors to this year’s Dam Proud Day came from 48 states and 10 countries outside the United States.

Dam Proud Day for 2020 was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the OSU Foundation launched Beavers Care to help provide emergency aid, an initiative that raised more than $1 million in less than three months and provided funds to financially vulnerable students, staff and faculty.

*All 2021 Dam Proud Day numbers are as of 12 p.m. April 30, 2021. The website is still accepting gifts.

The OSU Foundation

About the OSU Foundation: The Foundation is a nonprofit organization that partners with Oregon State University to engage the OSU community, inspire investment, and steward resources to enhance the university’s excellence and impact. Annual fundraising totals have averaged more than $100 million for the last five years, placing the OSU Foundation among top performing like organizations nationally. The Foundation also manages an endowment valued at more than $700 million that supports OSU students, faculty, and programs.

Story By: 

Cathleen Hockman-Wert


Laura Pizzo, 541-243-2738, [email protected]


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