Trevecca Giving Back Day brings community together, raises money for students in need

While COVID-19 put a lot of things on hold this spring, it couldn’t stop the Trevecca community from making a difference. On Trevecca Giving Back Day, more than 1,500 people participated in the online event by making a difference in their own communities, praying and reconnecting with Trevecca classmates. 

In addition, more than 135 donors gave $35,000 to the Student Emergency Fund, which will be used to assist students and families affected by recent tornadoes as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“As COVID-19 realities began to set in, we realized it was important to pivot our focus to engaging our Trevecca community and highlighting how we can give back through encouragement, stories, music and service,” said Peg Cooning, vice president for external relations. “We were extremely pleased with the response.” 

Trevecca Giving Day, the University’s first 24-hour giving day, was previously scheduled for April 16. In light of the pandemic, Cooning and her team chose to refocus the day on Trevecca’s motto—Esse Quam Videri (to be rather than to seem)—and invited Trevecca students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University to get involved. 

“We saw everything from professors seeking to connect with alumni they've taught over the years to alumni making masks for their community, from inspirational music collaboration to current students sharing about how Trevecca has made a difference in their lives,” Cooning said.

Throughout the day, Trevecca officials, alumni and friends of the University also shared encouraging and uplifting content on Trevecca’s social media accounts. 

One notable moment during the 24-hour event involved students in Trevecca’s online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program in leadership and professional practice, says Christy Grant, director of development operations. 

“Dr. Ryan Longnecker and Dr. Kristin Bledsoe led a campaign to encourage current students in the online Ed.D. program to give back to Trevecca on Trevecca Giving Back Day,” said Christy Grant, director of development operations. “Their efforts raised over $10,000 from 41 donors!” 

Both Cooning and Grant agree that Trevecca Giving Back Day was an important moment in the life of the University, simply because it was a tangible way to live out Trevecca’s mission and core values. 

“The concept of giving back is central to the culture of leadership and service at Trevecca,” Cooning said. “During this especially difficult season for so many, it made sense that we focus on what Trevecca does best and that’s demonstrating a loving and caring community.”

In light of the success, organizers hope to make Trevecca Giving Back Day an annual event.

Media contact: Mandy Crow,, 615-248-1695