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NKU Raises Over $300,000 Through
Founders’ Day Celebration


March 15, 2021 —  Northern Kentucky University celebrated its Founders’ Day and 53rd birthday with a day of philanthropy, drawing the most collective support for the university in a single day.

Over 600 alumni, faculty, staff and parents gifted $316,296 to their favorite departments, scholarship funds, Norse teams and student support initiatives. NKU held the celebration on March 10 to recognize its culture of giving and remarkable growth throughout the years.

“Our goal was to have 335 community members participate in the celebration and make an impact on the lives of our students. We almost doubled our efforts, and we could not have achieved this without our supporters,” said Jodi Zerbe, director of Annual Giving at NKU. “Giving to NKU can do so much to help a student earn a degree. Whether it’s helping address food insecurity through FUEL NKU or closing the gap with paying tuition, we have something for everyone in the community to connect with across our campus.”

NKU’s Founders’ Day featured a series of matches and challenges throughout the day, including an exclusive retro NKU logo T-shirt for a donation of $53 or more. Local businesses also pitched in to support the university’s efforts, including AAA Club Alliance providing two Delta Air Lines tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S.

The celebration also built on the momentum and one-year anniversary of NKU launching its COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund last March. NKU created the fund to ensure students had the necessary resources to address any financial challenges they endured throughout the pandemic. The fund has raised nearly $150,000 and assisted 539 students working to support themselves and their families while pursuing their degrees at NKU.

NKU’s rich history began in 1946 at the Trailways Bus Station in Covington, Kentucky. A handful of students and instructors participated in classes offered through the University of Kentucky’s educational extension services. In the years that followed, community members lobbied for a new institution and paved the way for creating Northern Kentucky State College in 1968. Both the campus and enrollment quickly grew, and the institution became a university in 1976.

For more information on how to get involved and ways to give, visit NKU’s website Founders’ Day website.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit