UT Martin hopes to raise $300,000 in one day

MARTIN, Tenn. — “The old adage of ‘it’s better to give than receive’ is very, very, very true,” William Blankenship, a UTM alumnus, said.

The University of Tennessee at Martin set a big challenge for themselves Wednesday — to raise $300,000 in just 24 hours.

“It’s a good way to get a lot of people involved,” Blankenship said. “The idea was not only to raise money but increase the number of contributors by getting them involved early in giving back to this university.”

They started the Captain’s Challenge four years ago, named after the UT Martin mascot Captain the Skyhawk.

This challenge helps UT Martin alums give back to groups that impacted them.

“Anywhere they want to designate their money, they can,” Associate Director of Annual Giving Jared Anderson said. “So it’s not going into one lump sum. They can give back to the program that they benefited from when they were a student.”

Donors can choose from six specific categories from athletics to fine arts and agriculture.

The command post for the Captain’s Challenge Wednesday at UT Martin is inside the Dunagan Alumni Center, and they say even a small donation can make a big impact.

“The first year we did Captain’s Challenge, 83 percent of our gifts were under $100,” Anderson said. “From someone that graduated last year to 20 years ago, anybody can give up a $20 gift or $25 gift.”

They kicked off the challenge at 12 a.m. Wednesday, and by noon they had raised almost $195,000.

UT Martin officials say this helps alumni feel connected to the campus.

“They loved being part of campus when they were a student, and now they have that option to give back and invest in the lives of future students,” Anderson said.

You can still donate and help them reach their goal. For more information about UT Martin and how to donate, visit challenge.utm.edu.

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