Lively 1-Day Hoya Competition Creates 21 New Scholarships

The first-ever City Challenge was an unqualified success, with seven cities bringing in 922 new gifts to support scholarships in 24 hours on May 15 and winning city Chicago increasing its alumni participation rate by a whopping 10 percent.

New York had maintained a steady lead throughout the day until overtaken at 4 p.m. EDT by the Windy City, which held the lead until the closing bell.

Over 2,300 unique visitors to the site saw five very generous donors—John and Rebecca Wilbe Foster (B’95) of Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Murphy Gallagher (C’06) of San Francisco; Matthew Reilein (F’00) and Elizabeth Whitehorn (C’01) of Chicago; John Connors Jr. (C’78, L’81, Parent’13, ’15) and Kathy Connors (Parent’13, ’15) of New York’s Staten Island, and Stuart Fisher (C’64) of Philadelphia—issue individual city match challenges ranging from $25,000 to $100,000. Gifts of all sizes were pooled to create 21 $25,000 scholarships.

“The City Challenge was a microcosm of what annual giving does all year long—leveraging gifts big and small to provide huge benefits for our students,” said Senior Director of Annual Giving Joannah Pickett.

City Challenge Volunteer Chair Matt Reilein (F’00), himself a Chicagoan, was aided by 63 “city champions” from across the country who, with their phone calls, emails, tweets and other peer-to-peer marketing activities, built awareness and excitement around the competition.

Named for the winning city, the Chicago Alumni Scholarship will be established for the 2013-14 academic year. Although Chicago won the challenge, the real winners are the students who will benefit from the support of their alumni family.

Visit to view the video thanks of Bibiana Jakubianska (B’14), one of the seven scholarship students profiled as part of the City Challenge, and Mary Beth Connell, M.D. (M’89),  president of the Georgetown University Alumni Association. Funding for the technology and winning city match was provided by the alumni association in partnership with the Annual Fund team.

If you wanted to participate, but missed the window or live in another city, it’s not too late to make a gift to the Georgetown Fund that will count very much in the life of a grateful student.