Luther College's First Annual One Team Day Success

Luther's first annual One Team Day, a one-day fundraising event to support the college's student-athletes, was held Thursday, Nov. 19. The campaign raised over $300,000 from more than 2,000 donors. The funds raised during this day will support Luther's 19 intercollegiate teams and 500 student-athletes.

The campaign, which started at 6 a.m. on Nov. 19 and wrapped up at noon on Nov. 20, began with over $86,000 in matching challenges from donors and included opportunities to support all student-athletes and individual sports programs. Donations came from a wide range of donors, including alumni, students, parents and families, faculty and staff, and friends of the college.

"The outcomes that we experienced on Thursday were generous and above expectations. The alumni of our 19 athletics programs led the way with giving, and it was special to see them support us on social media and with phone calls and texts throughout the entire day!" said Renae Hartl, director of intercollegiate athletics and head softball coach. "The excitement that we built as staff and within our student-athletes leading into the day was phenomenal. We had so much fun with this new venture partnering with our development team."

One Team Day highlights the importance of athletics and student-athletes within the Luther community. This year, in order to continue to allow students to participate in college-level sports, Luther’s athletics program enacted special pandemic-related protocols. All student-athletes were tested for COVID-19 when they arrived on campus and have continued to be tested at random throughout the fall. By following the safety precautions established by the American Rivers Conference and the college, Luther's student-athletes were able to complete fall schedules for women's and men's golf, women's and men's tennis, and women's and men's cross country, including competing for conference championships in women's golf, women's tennis and both cross country teams.

The A-R-C was the only NCAA Division III conference that competed for conference championships this fall.

"We began strategizing for Luther's first-ever Norse Athletic Association–focused giving day back in early spring, prior to knowing the profound challenges and obstacles of 2020. We knew to stay the course, because to do anything less would be a disservice to current student-athlete experiences," said Stephen Sporer, vice president for development. "By working together, the coaches, staff, and students shared the Norse story, but the results illustrate the real story: our alumni—both athletes and non-athletes—and our Regents, families, students, faculty, staff and community members truly exemplified what it means to be 'One Team.'"

One Team Day followed a record-breaking Giving Day 2020, when more than 2,100 donors raised more than $940,000 on Mar. 5, 2020. Funds raised during Luther's annual Giving Day go to support the Luther Fund, which in turn supports scholarships and financial aid, field study trips, music tours, student organizations, volunteer opportunities in the community, college ministries, residence hall improvements, campus landscaping, building maintenance, intramural sports, student/faculty research and more. Luther's sixth annual Giving Day will be held on Thursday, March 11, 2021, with a goal of raising $1 million.