Ithaca and Cortland Communities Compete Ahead of Jug Game

By Patrick Bohn ’05, November 12, 2019
Cortaca Giving Challenge puts philanthropy in the spotlight during week leading up to historic matchup.

The Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland football teams are gearing up for a de-facto playoff game this Saturday at the 61st annual Cortaca Jug. But while the high stakes of the game has captured most of the attention, the players and coaching staffs won’t be the only ones competing.

The two schools have announced the inaugural Cortaca Jug Giving Challenge, which will take place from Tuesday, November 12, at noon EST to Saturday, November 16, at 11:59 p.m. EST. The school that secures the highest number of unique donors (not dollars) within the challenge period will be declared the winner. The vice president for institutional advancement for the losing institution will write a personal check to the winning school’s annual fund.

“The Cortaca Jug Giving Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for alumni and friends of the college to rally together in support of not only Bomber football, but also our community of students, 95% of whom receive financial assistance thanks in part to donor philanthropy,” said Wendy Kobler, vice president for institutional advancement at Ithaca College. “Having just joined the Ithaca College community in September, I have been energized by the palpable excitement surrounding this historic Cortaca game, and encourage our community to kick their Bomber spirit into overdrive this week by making a gift to IC in support of the Cortaca Jug Giving Challenge!”

The challenge is open to Ithaca College alumni, students, parents, friends, faculty, and staff. Individuals who wish to learn more about the challenge and make a gift can visit

“There’s so much energy around the rivalry, and it’s a great way to promote Ithaca College and school spirit,” said Francesca Cherchio ’20, vice president of events for the group Students Today Alumni Tomorrow.

All outright gifts and pledge payments of $5 or more will count toward the challenge totals. The final results will be announced at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20.

“We are excited that the 61st Cortaca Jug Game is finally here and the buzz around this year’s contest has inspired a culture of philanthropy for Ithaca College,” said Susan Bassett ’79, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports. “We know our coaches and student-athletes will play their hardest to win on the field, and we hope that our students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans of IC will do their part to beat Cortland in this giving challenge!”