The results are in: MSU’s Give Green Day donors go above and beyond

7,073 donors support students with $1.55M for scholarships, programs campus-wide

The results are in: MSU’s Give Green Day donors go above and beyond

7,073 donors support students with $1.55M for scholarships, programs campus-wide

Editors Note, April 25, 2024: After final gift processing, these totals are higher than initially reported in a previous version of this story.

On Tuesday, March 12, Spartans once again showed the world what an extraordinary difference they can make when they come together over a common cause.

The eighth annual Give Green Day campaign raised $1.55 million—the second highest amount in Give Green Day’s history—thanks to 7,073 donors.

Behind every one of those gifts is someone with a story.

Gillian: started “cheering” early

The effort kicked off at 12:00 a.m. when Gillian Croteau, a current student and the president of the MSU Cheer and Stunt team, made the very first gift of the day to support the club sport that has played a defining role in her college experience. Because the team is fully self-funded, Gillian and her teammates strategized in advance.

“When giving time began at midnight, I was prepared to donate right away,” Gillian said. And being the first donor—not to mention the first student donor—of the day earned her some extra money for her cause.

The extra funds are thanks to Give Green Day sponsor, the MSU Federal Credit Union who made a generous $100,000 commitment and an additional $100,000 from the Office of the MSU President to provide challenge and matching funds for donors.

“I have been a part of the MSU Cheer and Stunt Team throughout my whole time at MSU. After winning our first National Championship title in program history last year, it was really important to us to raise enough money this year to have the opportunity to compete at nationals again.”

the cheer and stunt team at the national championships
The MSU Cheer and Stunt Team (pictured here after winning their first national title) raised more than $11,500 to help bring the team to Nationals again this year.

Stephon: organizing around a cause

Stephon Echols, a founding member of the MSU Black Alumni Club in Atlanta, GA, and the club’s current fundraising chair, saw his advance planning pay off on Give Green Day, too.

“We had a team in place to monitor donations and maximize the challenges,” he said. As a result, many donors to the MSUBA Atlanta Endowed Scholarship earned challenge money for their gifts, including Stephon himself. He added, “I was ecstatic to see that I won a donor challenge—it helped us reach our goal sooner.”

At day’s end the club had raised more than $6,000 for the scholarship fund.

Colin: a Spartan dad across the world

On the opposite side of the globe, MSU dad Colin McKenzie’s approach was less premeditated—he was just excited to support his Spartan daughter Ella and her teammates on the MSU Women’s Rowing team. In the process, he earned the “Distance Challenge” award, for making a gift all the way from Australia.

“Ella messaged us overnight asking us to support her team, and we woke up at 5 a.m. Brisbane time to her message, so of course, how does a dad say no to his youngest daughter?!”

In all seriousness, he adds, “MSU has allowed Ella to follow her dreams of being an international rower and has been supportive of her in every way. It’s important, as a parent of the current generation, to do what we can to financially support the university so that this, and generations of students to come, have such an opportunity.”

the women's rowing team
The Women’s Crew Excellence Fund raised more than $37,700 on Give Green Day, to help cover the rising cost of travel to out-of-state competitions.

MaryLou: showing love and staying connected

Meanwhile, back stateside, alumna MaryLou Moore was at home in Leander, TX, and feeling very connected to her second “home”—campus—as she joined in on the Give Green Day efforts, too.

Anytime I do something for MSU, whether it’s at the university in East Lansing, or from my home in Texas, I feel closer.

MaryLou’s love for MSU reaches into every corner of campus, including the outstanding MSU Debate Team, who are competing in their 28th consecutive national debate tournament this spring. MaryLou supported their efforts via the CrowdPower platform and helped the team earn an extra $500 as one of the top 10 CrowdPower projects.

“The Debate Team works hard every year to bring home trophies and make us proud. I want them to know they are appreciated by people giving any amount they can.”

Geri: had a front-row seat

Give Green Day was just another Tuesday at the office for the people who keep the university running, but that didn’t stop current faculty and staff members from jumping in to support the campus causes they love.

Geri Kelley, senior communications and marketing officer for the College of Human Medicine was one of them. She gave to the College of Human Medicine’s Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship Fund, and has the unique honor of watching the fund in action every day.

“I'm particularly supportive of scholarships for our future Spartan MDs as I have the privilege of interacting with them as they pursue their degrees in this challenging profession," Geri says. "I'm continually amazed by their strength, compassion and perseverance. My contribution is a way of acknowledging their journeys and thanking them for sharing their joy and inspiration along the way.”

By the numbers

Of the 6,905 gifts received on this year’s Give Green Day, nearly 60 percent—4,089—came from alumni. First-time donors were the next largest group of donors with 1,682 gifts, followed by faculty, staff and retirees of MSU who collectively made 1,295 gifts. Students made a total of 269 gifts.

Gifts came from Spartans as close by as right here in East Lansing, to Spartans in every U.S. state—nearly $975,000 came from Michiganders alone!—to those in places as far away as Australia, Indonesia and Nigeria.

Kim Tobin, vice president for University Advancement, expressed gratitude for Give Green Day’s donors.

“We are so grateful to Spartans across the globe for making a gift on Give Green Day in support of their passions. Each and every day, inspired philanthropy provides our students, faculty and staff the opportunity to tackle some of the world's biggest challenges.  We cannot thank our supporters enough for strengthening their work through life-changing scholarships and resources for students, enhancing research, and expanding important campus initiatives.”

Give Green day may be over, but your opportunity to give doesn’t have to be! Visit to learn more about how and where you can continue to make a difference. 

And save the date for next year’s Give Green Day: March 11, 2025!