University to host Notre Dame Day
Katie McCarty | Thursday, April 24, 2014
This weekend, the Department of Development will host its first Notre Dame Day, a 29-hour live broadcast from LaFortune Student Center featuring students and alumni from around the globe.
Morgan Bullock, marketing programs manager, said the day will “give alumni and community members an opportunity to reconnect with the University.”
Notre Dame Day begins Sunday at 6:42 p.m. and runs until midnight the following day. It will feature various events, including residence hall competitions, a live broadcast and fundraising that will benefit numerous organizations across campus, Jonathan Retartha, social media director, said.
The department chose the date because of its special significance to the University, he said.
“The idea is that April 27th was the date that commemorates Fr. Sorin returning to campus after the Main Building burned down,” Retartha said.
The focus of Notre Dame Day is to connect the global Notre Dame community, Retartha said.
“The broadcast is going to have every corner of the University come out [to participate],” he said. “There will be performances and interviews from groups around campus and Skype interviews from Notre Dame clubs and institutes around the globe. The whole idea is to encourage people, once they hear these stories, to have them think what is important to them and realize they have the opportunity to make a difference in those areas.
“For example, if you have a Department of Film, Television and Theater [FTT] alumnus, you will be able to see what FTT is doing on campus, and by donating minimum $10 to FTT, you get three votes you can put anywhere in the University to the challenge fund. This helps allocate money to different groups at the University ⎯ alumni clubs, varsity teams, etc.”
Retartha said at the end of the day, if FTT gets one percent of votes, then FTT gets one percent of the challenge funds raised throughout that day.
The day will also include a great deal of student participation, Aaron Wall, assistant director of student philanthropy, said.
“We invited all of the residence halls to compete, one against another,” Wall said. “Through some of our most loyal benefactors, we were able to do fundraising ahead of time so dorms can compete for up to $1000 per hour.”
Wall said other events throughout the day include a jumbotron in front of Stonehenge and a picnic at noon on North Quad. Rohr’s at the Morris Inn will also host a special selection of food and drink to those over 21 from 1 to 2 a.m.
The department has been planning Notre Dame Day since the fall, Amy Schell, director of annual fund marketing and operations, said.
“There has been a lot of decision-making, trying to figure out everything together,” Schell said. “We did videos, flyers, etc. to make sure we were promoting this as much as we could.
“We are thinking about each audience. The whole reason we decided to do this is because we realize how busy everyone is, and there are so many stories that people don’t usually see. We are trying to highlight every nook and cranny, knowing full well we can’t even fit everything into a 29-hour broadcast.”
Retartha said the Department of Development has worked as the lead for marketing strategy.
“We are using social media as a way to connect people with areas of the Notre Dame experience they haven’t connected with in many years,” Retartha said. “We wanted to ask our followers to follow Proud to Be ND, our media brand for giving, and asked people what they are thankful for in their Notre Dame experience.
“Once they identify those areas, we want people to check out what those areas are doing now. By encouraging them to find those areas on social media areas to hear the stories they have today, they will be motivated to cast their vote and watch the broadcast.”
Retartha said that so far, they have a potential reach of 800,000 people on social media through a network called the Social Ambassadors program. Nearly 875 social ambassadors are participating, and from a trending social media perspective, more than 5,700 posts have used the words Notre Dame Day.
“There is a system where anyone that is involved in Notre Dame Day can connect their social media with this social toaster program,” he said. “They received emails from me about how to help spread the word about Notre Dame Day news.”
Retartha said the support of the University and many partnerships have made this day of coming together on an “unprecedented level” possible.
“We know there are great things that happen on campus, and we want to help everyone else outside the University understand those stories,” Schell said. “The day of is going to be a massive celebration. The amount of energy we will have on Sunday and Monday will be amazing.”
For a full list of the events planned for Notre Dame Day, visit https://notredameday.nd.edu/Schedule/