Royalties and gifts boost student crisis fund above $1M

Man wearing UO face covering

Sales of University of Oregon licensed face coverings have contributed to a holiday gift for the Students in Crisis Fund, which since March has been designated to help students financially affected by the pandemic.

Royalties received from sales of masks and other gear during the most recent quarter exceeded $67,900, and along with other gifts, pushed the fund beyond its $1 million goal.

The UO’s marketing and licensing team chose to donate the royalties from officially licensed protective wear to help students while contributing to campus health efforts during the summer and fall, when face coverings became required.

“We’re grateful to Ducks everywhere who made the choice to support students and protect themselves and others in their communities,” said Argy Maniatis, UO’s assistant vice president for marketing and brand strategy. “While we all wish we didn’t have to wear them, masks were needed, and still are. This has been a way for all Ducks to show their spirit, mask up and help students who were hit by financial stress.”

The eligible face coverings continue to be sold on and through the UO Duck Store, now with a wider variety of designs and options.

The Students in Crisis Fund was established two years ago by concerned parents who wanted to provide support to UO students facing financial hardship.

In March, UO President Michael Schill announced $1 million in donations would be allocated to the fund to help those who were struggling financially due to the pandemic. Typically, the fund received five or six requests for help a month. By late April, that number had surged to 600.

“We are deeply grateful to everyone who supported our students with gifts to this fund or with their mask purchase,” said Mike Andreasen, the university’s vice president for advancement. “With these proceeds on top of many other donations, the Students in Crisis Fund has exceeded its initial goal.”

The need is still significant, said Andreasen. Aside from purchases of the licensed face coverings, direct contributions to the crisis fund can be made at the UO’s Duckfunder website.