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School of Pharmacy Hosts First-Ever Giving Day

Successful day of online giving raised $30,000 from more than 180 donors.

Female Student Pharmacist Stands in Front of the Alfred Abramson Pharmacy Practice Lab in Pharmacy Hall

By Malissa Carroll
January 31, 2017

To help commemorate the end of its 175th anniversary, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy hosted its first-ever online Giving Day on Jan. 27. Giving Day leveraged the power of social media to bring together faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends for an unprecedented, 24-hour philanthropic event to help generate gifts for the School’s annual fund and ensure its continued ability to provide quality pharmacy education, research, and service to residents across the state of Maryland and beyond. More than 180 donors made gifts to the School on the designated day, raising more than $30,000 and exceeding the day’s goal of reaching 175 donors.

“The success of the School of Pharmacy’s first-ever online Giving Day was truly the ‘icing on the cake’ for our 175th anniversary celebration,” says Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School. “The School has achieved many remarkable triumphs throughout its storied history, and it is exciting to imagine all that we are sure to accomplish over the next 175 years with the continued support of our dedicated faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends whose generous gifts made possible the success of this event.”

The School of Pharmacy held its online Giving Day from 12 a.m. on Jan. 27, to 12 a.m. on Jan. 28. The event was marked by several challenges designed to increase the impact of the donations received. The hallmark challenge for the event was the 175 Donor Challenge. If the School received gifts from 175 different donors before the end of the day, the challenger — an anonymous alumnus — agreed to donate an additional $10,000 to the School. In the end, the School received gifts from more than 180 donors.

“Although the School of Pharmacy has made significant  impacts on pharmacy education, scientific discovery, patient care, and community engagement on both the national and international level, we are a surprisingly small community, and we knew that reaching 175 donors for this event might be somewhat challenging,” says Greer Griffith, assistant director for alumni giving at the School. “I was thrilled to see that we exceeded the goal of our hallmark challenge. The continued investment of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends proves that the future is bright at the School of Pharmacy and ensures that we have the resources needed to continue setting the standard in pharmacy education.”

Giving Day also featured three bonus challenges made possible by pledges from Andrew Phan, PharmD ’13, pharmacist in the Investigational Drug Services Pharmacy at the University of Maryland Medical Center and president of the School’s Alumni Association; Nicole Brandt, PharmD ’97, MBA, BCPP, CGP, FASCP, professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science (PPS) and executive director of the Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging at the School; and Andrew Coop, PhD, associate dean for academic affairs and professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSC) at the School. Phan agreed to donate $1,000 to the School if 25 alumni from the Classes of 2006-2016 made gifts during Giving Day, while Brandt and Coop each pledged $1,000 to be added to a randomly selected donation made between 11 a.m.-1p.m. and 7-9 p.m., respectively.

All three challenges were met, with gifts from Abigail Strawberry, BSP ’93, and Cathy Chang, PharmD ’13, selected to receive the $1,000 pledges from Brandt and Coop.

“Showing my support for the School of Pharmacy by making a gift on Giving Day was important to me,” says Jackie Tran, PharmD ’13, clinical pharmacist at Johns Hopkins Hospital. “I truly enjoyed the time that I spent at the School and would not be the person that I am today were it not for the education that it afforded me. By paying it forward with my donation, I’m also helping to ensure that current and future students — including my sister, who is currently a third-year student pharmacist at the School — have access to the highest quality pharmacy education and best resources as they progress through their studies.”

Another crucial component to the success of the event was the use of social media ambassadors who volunteered their time to share messages about Giving Day on their Facebook and Twitter pages, helping to extend the reach of the event and increase the number of individuals who were able to participate. In addition to pledging $1,000 for the Young Alumni Challenge, Phan was the School’s most dynamic social media ambassador, generating 97 clicks from the messages that he shared on social media and raising an additional $2,400 for the School. Jennifer Abernathy, PharmD ’13, pharmacy manager for Harris Teeter, generated 61 clicks from the messages that she shared on social media.

If you or someone you know was unable to participate in Giving Day, but would still like to make a gift to the School, please click here to donate online.

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