If you passed by the Granite State Room between 12:30 and 2pm last Thursday you probably could hear some jazzy music and smelled pizza wafting out of the room. This was the 1000 Thanks event, the University of New Hampshire’s way of celebrating National Philanthropy Day. The event brought members of the UNH community together in order to thank the nearly five thousand benefactors to our school who have given money through, the UNH Fund, the Wildcat Fund, athletics, or Phoneathon. Last year participants provided some 978 handwritten notes, 1,824 phone calls, and 277 signatures on the banner. With hopes of bringing in at least five participants this year, the numbers will hopefully double!
1000 Thanks not only asked students to jot down a thank you note for UNH benefactors but educated students on the importance of annual giving. Through free pizza, drinks, candy, cupcakes, and prizes, students learned about how they can give back to their university. At “donor appreciation stations,” Wildcats in attendance could learn about Ben Thompson, of Thompson Hall fame, who was one of the university’s first benefactors (fun fact: he is buried on campus!) and about the UNH Foundation. Booths from the Candy Bar to Phoneathon offered games and treats along with raffle tickets that went towards gift certificates, an iPad, and an “I Believe in UNH” tumbler. Some of the other activities included a Velcro wall, a photo booth, foosball, a bean bag toss, and live music from The Watkinsonics.
Along with these activities, seniors were present to talk about the Senior Gift. What is the senior gift you may ask? It’s an annual gift that gives graduating seniors the chance to leave behind a legacy for their class. This is also the reason that the UNH Astronaut, one of the campus’ favorite mascots, will be seen wandering around campus for the next few months. At the same table was a contest for underclassmen where they could guess how many students from the 2011, 2012, and 2013 classes participated in their Senior Gift campaigns. The astronaut could be seen walking, dancing, and high-fiving attendees during the event—a great introduction to freshman of one of campus’ iconic wanderers.
While learning about the UNH Foundation and Senior Gift with pizza in hand, students also wrote thank you notes to go out to donors. Members of Alpha Phi Omega (APO) were present throughout the entire event, writing notes and enjoying the festivities. While some students who came were just stopping by, they too said thank you by signing a UNH banner. With all of these notes and the fully signed banner, benefactors will hopefully be able to see how much they are valued by the UNH community. Go Wildcats!
Don’t forget! December 3rd is #GivingTuesday. We have a day for giving thanks. We have a day for getting deals. This year we have a day for giving back. UNH is having an online giveathon calling for all Wildcats to pay it forward with a high$five4UNH donation of 5 bucks!