USAO to host numerous events in week before third annual Giving Day

Logo for USAO's 3rd annual Giving Day reading "Think About Giving"

USAO to host numerous events in week before third annual Giving Day


The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma will hold its third annual Giving Day—12 straight hours devoted to fundraising—on Sept. 20. This year’s goal is to raise over $100,000, garnering crucial financial support for the institution in the face of continuous cuts to its state appropriations.

Leading up to Giving Day, USAO has a week of events lined up which emphasize the importance of philanthropy and highlight this year’s theme: “Think About Giving.” This special week of events is designed to show how important philanthropy is in achieving both the institution’s educational mission, and in enabling it to give back to the community in a variety of ways. Events planned for TAG Week include a trivia night as well as a volunteer day. The Oklahoma Blood Institute will hold a blood drive, volunteers will help prepare for the Chickasha Festival of Lights, donations of food and clothing will be accepted, and elected officials from every level of government will be present to help register voters.

The week will end Sept. 20 with a 12-hour marathon of fundraising from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Proceeds will support USAO student scholarships, academic departments, athletics, support services, a wide variety of special projects including the Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series and much more.

“The generosity of the public is crucial to the success of our institution,” said Cassandra Ersland, director of development. “Last year, our Giving Day brought in 401 gifts and thousands of dollars, thanks largely to our ambassadors on social media. In 2018, we are expanding our efforts from one day to a whole philanthropy week, and we hope that as people think about the impact USAO has on so many lives, they will help us continue in our mission well into the future.”

On Giving Day itself, students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the university will be reaching out to their social networks to share their special USAO stories, why they give back to USAO and why their friends should also give back. Numerous matching gifts and challenges will be available to add to the impact of each individual gift, no matter how small.

In 2016, the USAO Foundation launched an annual Giving Day in response to an overall decline in alumni participation that mirrored a trend seen across the higher education landscape. As a result of the past two years’ efforts, the foundation has seen a 12 percent increase in the number of annual donations.

The full schedule of events can be found at For more information, contact Ersland at 405-574-1393 or