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Overwhelming Generosity: Friends Contribute $780k+ for Week of Giving!

Updated: July 1, 2020

“It’s such a blessing for me, and a genuine delight, to make this gift,” said Dr. Melissa Buckley when she promised to match all contributions made to the College’s 2020 Week of Giving, up to $350,000. “I hope it will inspire others to support the wonderful students at Thomas Aquinas College.”

It sure did.

Spurred by Dr. Buckley’s great generosity, hundreds of friends made their own gifts to the College, collectively surpassing the campaign’s goal on its final day, due to a surge in last-minute giving. In total, they contributed at least $432,525 — which, when combined with Dr. Buckley’s matching gift, amounts to more than $782,525 in all. (A final total is forthcoming, pending the receipt of gifts made by mail.)

“The outpouring of generosity we have seen over the last week has been phenomenal,” says Matthew Plaisted, the College’s director of annual giving. “Total giving was up more than 40 percent from last year, which would be stunning at any time, but is all the more so when you consider the economic difficulties that so many are facing right now.”

The Week of Giving is the third and final giving event of the College’s fiscal year, coming after the Alumni Day of Giving in March and the Parent Day of Giving in May. It invites friends of the College — who neither attended TAC nor have children or grandchildren who did so — to support its mission. Combined, the three events secured nearly $1.2 million for the College’s annual fund.

“With financial aid needs expected to soar this year, due to the coronavirus, these gifts could not have come at a better moment,” says Mr. Plaisted. “Our loyal friends have once more put the College in a strong position as we enter this new academic year.”

Despite facing financial challenges of their own, benefactors were eager to make sacrificial gifts for the benefit of the College’s students. “I had the good fortune to speak to many benefactors when they called in to make their pledges, and time and again they told me that they regarded their support of the College as an investment in the future of the Church and of rational thought,” says Mr. Plaisted. “They valued our program of Catholic liberal education and saw in our students reasons for hope.”

In this regard, these friends are much like Dr. Buckley, whose matching gift made the Week of Giving possible. “The College owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Dr. Buckley for inspiring this overwhelming generosity,” says Mr. Plaisted. “We pray that her example will continue to inspire friends and benefactors throughout the new fiscal year.”

Week of Giving 2020

“Thomas Aquinas is already the preeminent Catholic college in the country.”

– John Cardinal O’Connor (†)

Archbishop of New York