Brandeis Alumni, Family and Friends

Led by Alumni, Brandeisians raise more than $1 million on Giving DEISday

May 14, 2024

Alumni, friends, students, families, faculty, and staff all come together to participate in challenges to support Brandeis.

The Judge mascot beats a drum in front of a student band. Text reads: "Giving DEISday."

Brandeis mascot Ollie the Owl was traipsing around campus one recent afternoon, searching for students to play a little university trivia. But this wasn’t just any game. In fact, there was a lot more at stake than a good time: for correct answers, students would secure vital funds for their favorite clubs, teams, and academic programs. 

And with that, so began another Giving DEISday, the university’s annual day of giving. 

Every year, alumni, friends, students and their families, faculty, and staff come together to participate in challenges – sponsored by generous donors – that support Brandeis. The 2024 edition, which took place April 10, was another success, raising more than $1 million for Brandeis. 

Here’s a look at this year’s Giving DEISday highlights.

Challenges celebrate landmark year

In honor of Brandeis’ founding year, Dan Kazzaz ’74, GSAS MA’74, pledged $100,000 that would be unlocked once 1,948 people rallied to make a gift. The community’s response? No problem! In all, more than 2,700 Brandeisians made gifts this year during GivingDEISDay. In another nod to the 75th anniversary year, the Alumni Association Board of Directors gave $75,000 after 75 alumni made gifts.

Young alumni step up

Young alumni – Brandeisians of the Last Decade (BOLD) – made their presence felt in a big way this year. For starters, they turned out in the hundreds, with alumni from every class year going back to 2014 participating. Their generosity also unlocked bonus funds, thanks to a challenge sponsored by trustee Madalyn Friedberg, who gave $50,000 to the university after 50 BOLD donors made gifts of their own, as well as an additional $50,000 challenge for the Brandeis National Committee.

Brandeisians support every area of campus

Donors spread their generosity to every corner of campus, supporting academic programs, student clubs, athletics, and the Brandeis Fund, which supports the university’s areas of greatest need, including financial aid. For example:

  • Gifts to the Brandeis Fund totaled more than $324,000.
  • Brandeisians gave nearly $70,000 to support academic programs.
  • Athletics raised more than $120,000, with gifts going to every individual team.

And while the day was full of fun and gamified challenges, it was also about having a serious impact, for current and future Brandeis students.

“Brandeis was founded as a safe place for all students, and the caliber of its faculty has always been second to none,” said Friedberg, who sponsored the BOLD challenge and is also a past president of the Brandeis National Committee (BNC). “I’m very proud to have endowed a scholarship fund for deserving students. I hope all Brandeisians – from our youngest alumni to long serving BNC members– take the same pride in their own Brandeis connections and continue to support the university for years to come.”

To see all challenge results, visit the Giving DEISday website.