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#ClarkeDay celebrations support university mission

By Clarke News  |  April 8, 2022

Over the course of 1843 minutes, Clarke University students, employees, alumni, and friends celebrated the university’s eighth annual #ClarkeDay event, which served to unite Clarkies across the nation and raise funds for the future of the institution. In total, 560 donors participated, which generated $111,480 through direct gifts, matching gifts, and challenge grants. 

From noon on March 23 to 7 p.m. on March 24, Clarke hosted a series of on campus and virtual events to recognize the university’s founding in 1843 and raise money for future campus initiatives. Celebrations ranged from popcorn parties and ice cream sandwiches for those on campus to donor challenges and photo sharing that anyone could participate in through social media. 

“It is wonderful to see this outpouring of support, both in our community and from afar,” said Executive Director of Development Courtney Leonard. “We had participation from across the nation, and it really speaks to the power of the Clarke community. We have an ability to connect Clarkies wherever they go.” 

This year, #ClarkeDay also included a series of generous matching gifts and challenges from alumni and area partners, including Kunkel and Associates, the Clarke Alumni Board, Board of Trustees member Jenifer (Collins) Westphal ’84, and Mary Jo (Rossi) Furgal ’61 and Joe Furgal. Additionally, donations from employees on #ClarkeDay counted toward the Chesney Challenge, where University President Dr. Thom D. Chesney and Dr. Noelle Chesney agreed to donate $100 for every percentage of employees who give throughout the 2021-2022 school year. 

Using the #ClarkeDay website, participants were able to choose from seven areas of greatest need across the University or designate a gift to a certain area on campus, such as an academic program, athletic team or enrichment program. This way, donors could support the cause that resonated most with them. 

“These funds play a crucial role in not only the continued academic success of our students and faculty, but in Clarke’s ability to serve as a resource and partner throughout our community,” said Bill Biebuyck, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. “We are tremendously grateful to the students, employees, alumni, and friends who show their support of this mission through their donations.” 

The university would like to extend a special thank you to each of the donors who helped make the event a success. If you’d like to join them in supporting the Clarke University mission, please visit