Skip to main content

Northern Kentucky University celebrated its Founders’ Day and 54th birthday with a day of philanthropy, drawing the most collective support for the university in a single day.

Exactly 840 alumni, faculty, staff, community friends and parents gifted $528,414 to their favorite departments, scholarship funds, Norse teams and student-support initiatives. NKU held the celebration on March 16 to recognize its culture of giving and remarkable growth throughout the years. This was the celebration’s second year. Last year, 601 donors raised $316,296.

“Our goal was to have 650 community members participate in the celebration and make an impact on the lives of our students. Not only did we achieve our goal, we easily surpassed it. The Norse community is a strong one and this would not have been possible without the tremendous efforts of those involved,” said Jodi Zerbe, director of Annual Giving at NKU. “Giving to NKU can do so much to help a student earn a degree. There are countless ways to help. It could be something such as helping to address food insecurity through FUEL NKU, making college more affordable through a scholarship fund or helping our student-athletes stay at the top of their game. 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 long-sleeved NKU T-shirt for a donation of $54 or more. Local businesses also pitched in to support the university’s efforts. Several other prizes were awarded throughout the day, including a dinner date with President Ashish Vaidya and First Partner Nita Vaidya.

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