IC Kicks Off Initiative to Support Student Access to Technology on Giving Tuesday 2020

By Kyle Hornyak, December 11, 2020
Donors contribute to a new technology loaner program at Ithaca College.

For nearly a decade, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. has been celebrated as Giving Tuesday, a worldwide generosity movement that encourages charitable giving in response to the historic commercialization and consumerism of the post-Thanksgiving season.

For Giving Tuesday 2020, which took place Dec. 1, the Ithaca College community came together to raise funds in support of the institution’s current students, whose educational experience has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We are thrilled that our amazing IC community rallied to support students and help the college progress so quickly toward exceeding our expectations for Giving Tuesday,” said Wendy Kobler, PhD, vice president for philanthropy and engagement. 

Two students working on computers

 “As President Collado and Provost Cornish often note, the students at Ithaca College are our ‘why.’ It is evident from the outpouring of gifts received on Giving Tuesday that our alumni, faculty and staff, and IC families and friends share the same sentiment, and care deeply about creating access to transformative experiences for Ithaca College students.” 

The IC Annual Fund team capitalized on Giving Tuesday’s celebration of philanthropy to kick off a student technology access initiative designed to raise funds in support of a technology loaner program so that students can access the necessary personal technology to participate in the IC experience  always a crucial need, made even more urgent during this time of remote instruction.

More than 100 donors had made a gift in support of student technology access by noon on Giving Tuesday, unlocking a critical $10,000 in additional funding. By the end of the day, 338 donors had given $61,609 in support of establishing a technology loaner program at the college.

“These devices will supplement the investments that we’ve made to our on-campus resources for students by providing them the tools they need to succeed, from wherever they’re working, in this new hybrid learning environment.”

David Weil ‘87, MS ‘89, Associate Vice President and Chief Information Officer

“Ensuring that students have equitable access to technology has always been a priority for the college, and this current climate of remote instruction has illustrated just how great the disparity is in terms of student access to personal technology,” shares Dave Weil ’87, MS ’89, associate vice president and chief information officer. As a proud alumnus, longtime employee, and parent of two IC students, I am deeply heartened to see the response from our campus community and friends to build a fund to allow us to provide personal technology resources to those students who may not be able to afford it. These devices will supplement the investments that we’ve made to our on-campus resources for students by providing them the tools they need to succeed, from wherever they are working, in this new hybrid learning environment.

“Without the hot spot from the school, my grades would have suffered. And without the generous donations from alumni, I wouldn't be at IC at all.”

Ashley Stalnecker ‘21, journalism major

The overarching goal of the Ithaca Forever strategic plan is for the institution to become a model for student success, engagement, and well-being and to help students develop their unique potential. The college is committed to providing a student-ready campus (physical and virtual) with programs designed to meet all students where they are, and to promote student success through high-impact experiential learning, integrated study facilitated by strong mentoring relationships, and a holistic focus on student wellness. IC’s Giving Tuesday 2020 and the accompanying student technology access initiative were both designed with these critical goals in mind.

“Without the hot spot from the school, my grades would have suffered. And without the generous donations from alumni, I wouldn't be at IC at all,” shares journalism major Ashley Stalnecker ’21. To Stalnecker, the value of her collaboration with the college’s faculty, and support she has received in part from donations to the college, has been crucial to her success. “I really appreciate everything that [Associate Dean] Bryan Roberts through the Park School, and Ithaca College donors, have done for me.”

Donations to the student technology access initiative are still being accepted through the end of this calendar year.

Make a Gift

Make a gift in support of student access and success here.