Defiance College concludes successful fundraising year

October 5, 2020

DEFIANCE, Ohio - Defiance College saw significant increases in both the number of donors as well as total giving for the fiscal year 2019-2020. Through the generous support of alumni/ae, friends, and community members, DC received more than $1.6 million from 1,330 total donors.

"The greater part of my working career has been in institutional advancement, and I have never had a year as surprising as this," says John Trautman, senior institutional advancement advisor for Defiance College. "I don't want to say my expectations were low, but they were definitely reserved. To have friends of the College show this level of support leaves me excited and awestruck."

Two major gifts totaling $270,000 came in from unexpected sources and both were somewhat of a surprise. One gift of $170,000 came from the Verna K. Evanoff Trust and a gift of $100,000 was received from The John C. Markey Charitable Fund. Incoming and returning students will have the opportunity to benefit from these generous gifts. The gifts are both designated to help students through grants and scholarships.

"These two gifts really encapsulate giving to the College in that they were both somewhat surprising. We received gifts from a number of very generous individuals and businesses with whom we haven't had contact for years. Many just wanted to show their support for Defiance College. Thank you to all of our wonderful donors," Trautman continued.

In May, the College launched its "Defi the Odds" campaign in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign ended in June and over 500 people responded, raising more than $200,000.

"Unexpected circumstances can be heart-warming and fulfilling like these two extremely generous gifts," states Defiance College President Richanne C. Mankey. "Others provide unexpected challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has been an opportunity to live our mission and express our values in order to navigate times of ambiguity and uncertainty. During the pandemic alumni/ae connected with the 'Defi the Odds' campaign to express gratefulness for DC's role in their lives and careers. All of these gifts are truly heartfelt as they came when the pandemic may have been negatively impacting their personal and professional lives."

Defiance College would like to thank The Verna K. Evanoff Trust, as the gift supports students with a demonstration of financial need. Verna K. (Koester) Evanoff was a graduate of Waite High School in Toledo. She was the oldest living member of the Memorial United Church of Christ. Verna was employed for many years at Ohio Bell in Toledo before working with Blue Cross of Ohio. She was 91 years old when she passed away on December 31, 2019.

DC also thanks The John C. Markey Charitable Fund for an "out of the blue" gift that came through a friendship which connected the Fund's trustees with Defiance College. The gift is in the form of grants for students with financial need. The fund was established in 1966 in Bryan, Ohio and now is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Their funding interests include the arts and humanities, education, social services and more. Defiance College has had the honor to have been a past recipient of gifts from this fund.

Chartered in 1850, Defiance College is an independent, liberal arts-based institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The College is guided by the four pillars of its mission: To Know, To Understand, To Lead, and To Serve. The College website is