Pacific Gives raises record $1.78M in support of students

Fueled by passionate alumni, students, faculty, staff and other supporters, University of the Pacific had its largest ever Pacific Gives fundraiser with more than $1.78 million raised from more than 3,500 donors, a more than 20% increase in participation over 2022.

The university’s annual 24-hour giving campaign allows donors to direct gifts of any size to the causes closest to their hearts, which have an immediate impact on students. It is the third consecutive year Pacific Gives set a new record for both donors and donations.

“I am blown away by the incredible generosity of the Pacific community,” said Scott Biedermann ’05, ’20, vice president of development and alumni relations. “We asked Tigers to answer the call and they turned up in record numbers. Their support will have a life-changing impact on our students through experiential-learning opportunities, scholarships and other assistance.”

University leadership had 100% participation from regents, cabinet members, deans and the alumni association board.

Athletics once again rocketed to the top of the participation leaderboard this year with 1,209 donors—double the participation of any other school or group. Cross country and track led the way with 190 donors.

“These donations give a huge boost to our program,” said Head Coach Josh Jones. “The money will support our preseason trip to Hawaii, which is really important for team bonding, as well as purchasing any new gear or special equipment the team needs.”

Men’s soccer and women’s water polo also had strong showings with more than 115 donors each.

The School of Health Sciences, the youngest at Pacific, had the most participation of any school or college with 607 donors, earning the school an extra $2,500. College of the Pacific and McGeorge School of Law followed with each bringing in more than 230 donors.

The School of Health Sciences’ success was led by Dean Nicoleta Bugnariu who was the top ambassador for Pacific Gives for the second consecutive year.

“I am so grateful for the huge outpouring of support,” Bugnariu said. “Much of the money raised will provide scholarships to students who have had to overcome tremendous challenges and showed resilience in pursuing their dreams for higher education. One small scholarship made a huge difference for me as a physical therapy student, so I know what an impact these donations will have.”

There were 304 ambassadors this year, which is a more than 30% increase from last year. Read more about the top ambassadors who were a driving force behind Pacific Gives’ success.

The Community Involvement Program had tremendous support with more than 140 donors, putting it at No. 7 on the participation leaderboard. The scholarship and retention program supports first-generation college students from Stockton.

“It’s changed my life,” said Dustin Brakebill ’23 who is a Community Involvement Program scholar. “I’ve had to help my parents with money; that’s why I work a lot. Getting scholarships has given me security and allowed me to look forward to my future instead of stressing about what’s happening next.”

Donations were amplified throughout the campaign with dozens of matches and challenges offered by generous donors.

President Christopher and Jean Callahan and Provost Maria Pallavicini matched the first $10,000 in gifts from faculty and staff, which was met shortly after the day launched.

With support from 50 donors, $1,000 was unlocked to benefit the Pacific Food Pantry, which relies entirely on donor funding. The money will help combat the growing issue of food insecurity among college students.

Other matches and challenges completed include:

  • The School of Engineering and Computer Science unlocked a $25,000 gift after receiving 25 donations to the Strategic Innovation and Makerspace funds.
  • The Manor Hall renovation project received an extra $50,000 after reaching 45 donors. The residence hall will house student veterans.
  • The Paul Winters Tournament Challenge earned the forensics program an extra $7,500 after receiving 50 donations. The money will allow Pacific’s nationally ranked speech and debate team to travel the country for competitions.
  • Men’s tennis unlocked an additional $20,000 thanks to the generosity of Matt '86 and Michelle '90 Ginn after the team raised $20,000.

See the rest of the results on the Pacific Gives website. Donations can continue to be made year-round.