Professors raise over $4,000 for students with #PantherPromise
June 9, 2014
From New York to Dallas, from Los Angeles to Taipei, alumni rallied behind their
professors through #PantherPromise, a social media campaign this past week that
raised $4,335 to support LaGrange College students and boosted alumni giving participation.
Five professors with a collective 105 years of teaching at LaGrange College—Kim
Barber Knoll, Dr. Joe Cafaro, Dr. William Paschal and Dr. Jack Slay—each made an
inspiring video message to alumni explaining that if at least 35 alumni "vote"
for them by making an online gift to support LaGrange College students, he or she
would carry out an individual promise.
#PantherPromise garnered 118 gifts with 104 unique donors. Dr. Paschal led
his colleagues in the good-natured race to secure gifts, coming out on top with
45. He was followed by Dr. Rosencrants, 20; Dr. Slay, 19; Dr. Cafaro, 18; and Professor
Barber Knoll, 17. Barber Knoll was close behind Dr. Paschal with the highest total
Dr. Paschal's message promised that if he could receive a minimum of 35 gifts,
he would organize a hike on the Pine Mountain Trail to honor the memory of his
good friend and fellow biology professor Dr. John Hurd.
"It really touched my heart to see how many responses we received to honor John,"
Dr. Paschal said. "It also was touching and fun to reconnect with so many former
students on Facebook and email. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him, and
it's made me feel good to keep his memory alive."
Dr. Paschal said he will announce the details of the hike once they are finalized
and already has begun collecting written stories to share about Dr. Hurd the day
of the hike. He plans to invite everyone who made a gift and welcomes anyone who
would like to join them. Afterwards the hikers will share lunch or dinner and swap
stories about Dr. Hurd.
Alumni began spreading the news online quickly on May 27, the day of the #PantherPromise
debut as they viewed videos of each of the professors' promises.
Barber Knoll promised to produce and direct "An Evening with LC Alumni" on the
Price Theater stage in January to give alumni the chance to perform in the newly
renovated theater. Dr. Cafaro vowed to ride his bicycle 95 miles across the entire
Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga trails from Smyrna, Ga., to Anniston, Ala.
Dr. Rosencrants made the promise to donate at least eight inches of her hair to
the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program, which provides wigs for breast cancer patients.
Dr. Slay promised to write a play about several students who wander into Price
Theater late at night and swap ghost stories about LaGrange College.
Trevor Lane '13, a LaGrange College Fund Officer, said the alumni engagement during
the weeklong campaign has been inspiring.
"All the professors' videos and their interaction online really got our alumni
excited about being a part of the Panther Promise," he says. "Alumni we haven't
heard from in several years were sharing stories about how much their professors
and LaGrange College have played such a part in who they are today.
"The college is so grateful to everyone who made a gift and to everyone who shared
the news about the Panther Promise online. We hope everyone will welcome it again
next year. Of course we'll be changing it up a little, because we loved building
an element of surprise with this first social media campaign."