An MIT Alumni Association Publication

24-Hour Challenge on Pi Day Notches Record Year

  • Kathryn M. O'Neill
  • Slice of MIT

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What a difference a day makes! MIT’s 24-Hour Challenge, which took place on Pi Day (March 14), was one for the record books this year as the event raised a whopping $4.65 million for MIT from 9,875 donors—the most ever.

“What a set of wins for MIT,” MIT Alumni Association CEO Whitney T. Espich says. “I am always so impressed by what our generous alumni and friends can do when we all work together. I have nothing but gratitude to everyone in the MIT community who made this event such a success.”

A woman holds her hand to her chin and stares upward as another woman looks at a notebook and points at it. At left is a big poster with the symbol for pi and the words Recitation, How many digits can you recite? A poster in the background shows Tim the Beaver and the words Day! and challenge.
Nina Ojeiduma ’27 reciting pi on Pi Day.

Truly an all-hands-on deck endeavor, the challenge brings together alumni, students, families, and friends from across the Institute and the globe to help MIT make the future better, brighter, and more sustainable for us all. This year’s challenge got a special boost from 350 people who signed up to serve as 24-Hour Challenge Ambassadors, individuals who amplify MIT’s efforts to meet the day’s funding goals.

Donors from all 50 US states and 100 countries contributed to support students, departments, groups, and the Institute as a whole, collectively leading to a 25 percent increase in giving over last year.

Top areas for support were unrestricted giving and scholarships. In addition, 53 microchallenges met or surpassed their goals, providing funding for everything from the Aging Brain Initiative to individual sports teams.

To further honor Pi Day—an annual celebration of the mathematical constant that is ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter—the Alumni Association hosted a celebration on March 14 for students on campus featuring pizza pi(e), Pi Day prizes, and a pi recitation contest. The winner, Nina Ojeiduma ’27, was able to accurately list 435 digits of pi from memory!

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