Ducks Give 2019

Giving Day is a chance for Ducks of a feather to flock together

Thursday’s to-do list should include one quick, easy task: Join fellow Ducks in supporting the University of Oregon during #DucksGive.

May 16 marks the fourth annual Giving Day, and this year’s goal of 2,019 gifts is the most ambitious yet. Contributions will be combined with others to help unlock more than $1.3 million in challenge gifts from across campus, said Rob Dow, UO’s assistant director of annual philanthropy.

“The difference that donors make for our university is evident throughout the year,” Dow said. “But this is one day when Ducks flock together to support scholarships, teaching, the student experience, research and more. It’s also a great opportunity to combine gifts of all amounts, so that individuals can unite to make a bigger difference together.”

This year, Dow said, features a special call to action for the entire university. UO donors Susan Ayers and Jeff Wiles have pledged $200,000 to PathwayOregon, a scholarship and support program for lower-income Oregonians. Wiles earned his undergraduate degree from the UO in 1974 and a master’s degree in 1975.

Twenty-eight university departments — seven more than last year — are participating in this year’s event. Across campus, friends and alumni have thrown down the gauntlet to pledge more than 60 challenge gifts exceeding $1.3 million.

“Even though it’s a universitywide effort, Giving Day is traditionally a grassroots event,” Dow said. “It’s one day for donors to step up for their school or college, their favorite arts organization or athletics team, a museum or other aspects of the university that are special to them. The donors challenge each other with matching gifts of varying amounts, and sometimes they get very creative.”

When 75 donors give to the Lundquist College of Business, business students will get a pizza party. One hundred gifts to the college will unlock a song from critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and alumnus Dan Neal. Neal is a 1974 UO graduate and also completed law school at the university in 1977.  

UO athletics administrators and coaches will match $30,000 in donations once that total amount is pledged to support student-athletes, and 500 gifts to athletics unlock a $50,000 donation from the Oxford Hotel Group. At the School of Journalism and Communication, 200 donations unlock a challenge gift of $500,000 from donor John Knowlton, class of 1974, to support the Dean’s Fund for Excellence and Innovation.

For each of the past three years, the annual fundraising event has inspired more than $1 million in giving to support scholarships, programs, construction projects, faculty support and more. To explore the opportunities and make a gift, visit