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More than $300,000 Raised Through NKU Founders' Day Celebration

Northern Kentucky University received more than 600 gifts and a total exceeding $300,000 for its Founders' Day celebration last week.

The single-day fundraiser honors the anniversary of the university's founding, which took place 53 years ago. The event drew the most collective support for the university in one day ever.

In total, NKU received $316,296.

“Our goal was to have 335 community members participate in the celebration and make an impact on the lives of our students. We almost doubled our efforts, and we could not have achieved this without our supporters,” said Jodi Zerbe, director of annual giving at NKU. “Giving to NKU can do so much to help a student earn a degree. Whether it’s helping address food insecurity through FUEL NKU or closing the gap with paying tuition, we have something for everyone in the community to connect with across our campus.”

NKU’s Founders’ Day featured a series of matches and challenges throughout the day, including an exclusive retro NKU logo T-shirt for a donation of $53 or more. Local businesses also pitched in to support the university’s efforts, including AAA Club Alliance providing two Delta Air Lines tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. 

The celebration also built on the momentum and one-year anniversary of NKU launching its COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund last March. NKU created the fund to ensure students had the necessary resources to address any financial challenges they endured throughout the pandemic. The fund has raised nearly $150,000 and assisted 539 students working to support themselves and their families while pursuing their degrees at NKU.

NKU's history began in 1946 at the Trailways Bus Station in Covington. A handful of students and instructors participated in classes offered through the University of Kentucky’s educational extension services. In the years that followed, community members lobbied for a new institution and paved the way for creating Northern Kentucky State College in 1968. Both the campus and enrollment quickly grew, and the institution became a university in 1976.

-Staff report

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