Pi Day on March 14 is always a joyous occasion at MIT, as the campus community comes together to celebrate the magical mathematical constant and the delights of diving deeply into science, technology, engineering, and math.
This year, thanks to the generous MIT community, there is more “pi” to share. During the MIT 24-Hour Challenge held on Pi Day, 8,593 donors from all 50 US states and 84 countries joined together to raise $3.71 million in support of students, departments, and groups, and the Institute as a whole.
“The unofficial Pi Day holiday is always a festive day at MIT and for our alumni. I am delighted that we were once again able to mark the occasion with the 24-Hour Challenge, because this event truly spotlights the strength and commitment of our community,” says MIT Alumni Association CEO Whitney T. Espich. “I offer my sincere thanks to all of the generous alumni and friends who contributed this year, giving us even more reasons to celebrate March 14.”
While the majority of those who answered the call to give were alumni, gifts also came from students, parents, faculty, staff, and friends. These collective contributions led to a 9 percent increase in giving over last year. The top areas for support were unrestricted giving and scholarships.
The 24-Hour Challenge also included 43 microchallenges focused on supporting areas of need ranging from the Community Service Fund to the Aging Brain Initiative. All of the microchallenges met their goals.
To further honor Pi Day (which is traditionally the day MIT reveals undergraduate admissions decisions—learn more about such fun facts here), the Alumni Association hosted a celebration that day for students in Lobby 10 on campus. Roughly 800 students stopped by to enjoy popcorn, cotton candy, a pi recitation contest, and a photo booth. A claw machine also gave students the chance to win prizes and vote for how best to distribute portions of a corporate gift among philanthropic priorities.