10th Annual Big Orange Give Tops 10,500 Gifts and Supports Students In-Need


Category: Giving

Students hold signs that say Big Orange Give and Thank You

The Volunteer community rallied around the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, for the 10th year in a row during Big Orange Give, UT’s annual day of giving held November 10, 2022. More than 10,500 gifts were contributed by Volunteers from around the world who picked the area of campus most meaningful to them to support. Many of the gifts received matching dollars from generous donors who contributed funds to double the impact.

“Every year, I am impressed with the way our community shows up to support the areas of campus that hold the most meaning to them,” said Chancellor Donde Plowman. “Whether you are supporting a college, a program, a scholarship fund, or a campus organization, the willingness of Volunteers to step forward and give back is always inspiring. Thank you to everyone who has supported UT this year and in years past. Your contributions are a big part of the success we see across the university.”

One of the top three areas impacted this year was the Student Emergency Fund, which provides life-changing assistance to UT students in need. Many work hard to put themselves through school, and during uncertain times they can receive help with critical needs such as utilities, minor medical expenses, and basic technology. During the fall semester $33,000 was awarded to 100 students, and Big Orange Give donors replenished the fund with $30,000 in gifts.

“The Student Emergency Fund assisted my husband, five children, and me while my part-time job was furloughed,” said Jennifer Ware (’23). “The money helped us pay for household expenses like food and utilities. I am so grateful to be a Vol!”

The fund played a critical role during COVID-19 and has grown into an ongoing program of support. Other top funds included 91.9 WUOT FM and the Band Scholarship Fund.

Whether you are supporting a college, a program, a scholarship fund, or a campus organization, the willingness of Volunteers to step forward and give back is always inspiring.

– Donde Plowman, chancellor

The generosity of donors during Big Orange Give throughout the past decade speaks to the character of the Volunteer community. Since 2013, more than 58,000 donations from individuals—many of whom made commitments year after year and to multiple areas of campus—resulted in more than $16 million raised.

“The extraordinary growth of Big Orange Give over the years is an accomplishment shared by all Vols,” said Chip Bryant, vice chancellor for advancement. “What started with 1,630 donors years ago, today is an order of magnitude larger, and that goes to show what this community is capable of building through generosity, commitment, and passion.”

According to Lauren Herbstritt, director of advancement for annual giving, Big Orange Give has been an enduring community effort that demonstrates gifts of any size to any area of campus move the university forward in a significant way. Herbstritt has been the driving force behind Big Orange Give over the years.

“The passion of an expansive network of supporters for the university directly impacts the future for this next generation of Volunteers,” Herbstritt said. “The growth of Big Orange Give shows what is possible when a group of committed individuals comes together for a cause, and we’re not stopping with the momentum that has been generated but expressing our gratitude toward the incredible generosity Vols have shown and looking forward to the next decade with an even more impactful future for Big Orange Give.”