Columbia College alumni and friends linked arms on Tuesday, March 23, in support of the college’s 3rd annual Giving Day. The event focused on encouraging alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents and friends of the college to make a participatory gift in support of the Columbia College Fund, which addresses the college’s most immediate needs within the year that it’s given.

The endeavor was a rousing success, raising a record $118,834 from 408 gifts. The total raised was an increase of 27 percent vs. last year’s total.

The success of the event was due in large part to a group of generous alumni who challenged the Columbia College community to be part of this special initiative. This group included Norma Nyberg ’78, Barbara Bilger ’62, George Hulett Hon. ’19, Jacob Black ’05 and Rob Walker ’87.

Advocates for this year’s Giving Day also played a vital role in the build-up to the event. Through their generosity and willingness to participate in the months leading up to the event, they helped build excitement through social media and with other alumni, friends and family.

“The commitment and dedication our CC alumni and friends displayed during Giving Day 2021 was phenomenal, particularly as we navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Suzanne Rothwell, vice president for Advancement. “These generous contributions will benefit our students immediately through scholarship support and enhanced technology infrastructure across our network of locations nationwide and online. We can’t thank those who supported Giving Day enough for stepping up.”

Below are some additional quick facts from Giving Day 2021:

  • From the Christian College Class of 1949 to the students working to graduate in 2024, members of 66 different class years made gifts
  • Alumni from the Class of 2020 topped the number of gifts made (21)
  • The Class of 2005 were the leaders in the fundraising category ($25,525)
  • Donations came from 38 states and two countries (Australia and Canada)
  • The donor demographic was wide-ranging:
    • 76 percent of the gifts came from alumni
    • 20 percent of the gifts came from faculty and staff
    • 10 percent of the gifts came from friends of the college
    • 3 percent of the gifts came from students
    • 3 percent of the gifts came from parents

*Donors could identify themselves in more than one category

To make a gift to the Columbia College Fund, visit