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Southwestern Tops Rival Hendrix in First-Ever Alumni Giving Challenge

  • News Image
    Taylor Kidd, assistant director of gift programs, holds the trophy Southwestern will keep this year for winning the first Alumni Giving Challenge against Hendrix College. At left is Amanda Parr, director of leadership gifts at Southwestern, and at right is Ellis Arnold, interim president of Hendrix.
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    As part of the challenge, the president of the losing college had to pose for a photo wearing a shirt from the other school. Ellis Arnold, interim president of Hendrix, is shown here wearing a t-shirt from Southwestern and holding the scores from both competitions.
  • News Image
    The scoreboard showed it all....

Challenge raises more than $20,000 in gifts from alumni.

Southwestern may have lost on the football field to Hendrix College Sept. 28, but it beat its rival in Arkansas on another front.

In advance of the Sept. 28 football game, Southwestern challenged Hendrix to see which college could inspire the greatest number of alumni to make a gift to their alma mater the week before the game.

Southwestern ended up winning the Alumni Giving Challenge by 45 donors. The Pirates received gifts from 613 alumni, compared to 568 for Hendrix. The final score was announced during halftime of the football game.

“This was an exciting opportunity for two schools to compete on and off the field,” said Taylor Kidd, assistant director of gift programs at Southwestern. “We hope this rivalry will continue to grow as the football programs at both institutions flourish.”

This fall marked the first time in more than 40 years that both Southwestern and Hendrix fielded football teams.

Rob Bacchus, director of gift programs, said Southwestern raised more than $20,000 as a result of the challenge.

“One of the neatest things about this challenge was that people could designate their gifts toward whatever they were passionate about,” Bacchus said. “We received gifts to support a wide range of projects, including financial aid, academic departments and student organizations.”

Bacchus said both schools gained new donors as a result of the challenge, so in reality both schools won.

The two schools have a traveling trophy that will stay with the winner of this new annual event. The trophy is currently on display in the Jake and Jane Schrum Alumni Center.

As part of the challenge, interim Hendrix President Ellis Arnold also had to pose for a photo wearing a Southwestern t-shirt.

For more information on ways to support Southwestern, visit