On Tuesday Sept. 22, Villanova University held its fourth annual 1842 Day fundraiser. The University raised over $5.9 million from 7950 donors during the 24-hour fundraiser.

According to the University, 1842 Day is “Villanova’s giving day” and allows students, faculty, alumni and others to help different organizations at the University.

The goal of the first 1842 Day in 2017 was to get 1,842 donors donating in 1,842 minutes. This year’s event had the challenge of reaching four milestones, each marked by increments of 1,842 donations to unlock a one million dollar donation to the University’s Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society.

The Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society was established in 2010 from a donation from University alumnus Lawrence Waterhouse Jr. The goal of the institute is to emphasize the role of communication in social change.

Organizations which could be donated to as part of 1842 Day included Campus Ministry, the Villanova Athletic Fund, The Student Emergency Fund, the Career Center and NOVAdance. Donations to any of the University’s colleges also qualified as part of 1842 Day.

The organization that raised the most money on 1842 Day was the Villanova Annual Fund with $201,348.06 from 827 donors, followed by the School of Business Fund with $129,184.31 from 527 donors and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Fund with $71,825.56 from 522 donors.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the event was centered around a nearly 10 hour livestream on the 1842 Day website. Some events were still held in-person with social distancing in mind.

The traditional 1842 Day Mosaic was available on the 1842 Day website and photos could also be submitted by scanning an interactive wall outside the Connelly Center.

The livestream was hosted by University alumnus Keith Jones from the University’s new Center for Performing Arts, which opened earlier this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. Lauren Dugan and Darryl Reynolds, also University alumni, provided updates from on-campus and on Zoom throughout the livestream.

University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D. opened the livestream with a message to students, faculty, staff, and alumni. “While today will look and feel a little different than previous 1842 Days, we are continuing to come together and celebrate the great causes throughout the University that will benefit from your gifts,” Donohue said. “Thank you for all that you do for Villanova today and always.”

Highlights from the livestream included virtual rides on the “Cat Cab,” a preview of the new Center for Performing Arts, an update on the return to campus and interviews with University leaders.

The goals set by the University for the event were greatly exceeded, with nearly 8,000 donors from all 50 U.S. states and 18 countries.