Celebrity Ice Cream Scoopers for Viking Warrior DayA Celebration of Orange and Blue

First Day of Giving Raises $34K


On the night of May 2, members of the Viking community snuck into Salem State and took over, covering campus in orange and blue.

When students woke the next morning and made their way to the last day of classes, they found a sea of signs and posters, all adorned with our lovable Viking Superfan and interesting facts about the importance of donors.

Why was all of this being done?

For Viking Warrior Day 2018, Salem State’s first ever day of giving!

On May 3, the Viking community came together for the opportunity to transform lives by building a better, stronger, more affordable Salem State.

Viking Warrior Day was an energetic, inspiring, 24-hour virtual and on-campus gathering of alumni, parents, staff, students, faculty, and friends.

Over the course of 24 hours, gifts large and small were made to support Salem State. Milestone gifts were celebrated throughout the day on social media. These included First Employee Gift, First Online Gift, First Student Donor, and others.

While donations came in, several events occurred throughout campus, spreading excitement and raising awareness.

Alumni and/or donor employees fueled up for the day with A Breakfast Fit for A Viking. Employees were invited by the Salem State Alumni Association and the Annual Fund to kick off the festivities in Veterans Hall in the Ellison Campus Center. They enjoyed a meal together and participated in fun games throughout the breakfast, such as a Salem State history trivia game.

Next up on the agenda was a Bike Path Clean-up. The Alumni Association Civic Engagement Committee invited alumni and students to assist in the beautification of the bike path adjacent to campus. Volunteers worked outside for a couple of hours picking up trash from the path and cleaning up.

The 4th Annual Viking Warrior Field Day also took place in the afternoon on McKeown Plaza, hosted by The Gassett Fitness Center.

Campus offices and departments provided interactive activities and information during the event. The Student Philanthropy Council had a tent and encouraged students to sign cards thanking donors for their generous contributions.

Attendees raced through an inflatable obstacle course and enjoyed free food, prizes and giveaways. A number of Viking celebrity donors and alumni served complimentary ice cream from Terry’s Ice Cream Truck, the perfect treat for a warm summer day. Among the celebrity scoopers were Kim Gassett-Schiller '83, '18H; Kathy Skrabut; and Paul A. Petrowski '66 of the Salem State Foundation Board.

“Being able to celebrate as a campus community as well as say thank you to all those who make the dreams of Vikings a reality, shined with true orange and blue pride,” said Debra Lee Surface ’05, vice president of administration for the Alumni Association Board of Directors. “Participating in the full day of Viking Warrior activities, it was so exciting to see students, faculty and alumni engaged with one another in sharing their Viking spirit; the energy was infectious. Looking forward to the next one, and of course making a repeat appearance as a celebrity ice cream scooper!”

As the day came to a close, those involved in the festivities were invited to a Happy Hour at The Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel, hosted by The Salem State Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Society. Tired Vikings indulged in complimentary appetizers, winding down after a great day and celebrating the successes everyone accomplished.

“Our first Viking Warrior Day was a unique opportunity for the community to come together and share our pride in Salem State,” said Lori Boudo, director of Annual Giving. “Right out of the gate there was an enthusiasm on campus, from the employee breakfast to the Field Day to the young alumni happy hour. And we were able to achieve our single largest day of community giving, a really remarkable feat.”

At the end of the day, $34,082 was raised with 194 gifts from 191 donors. These donations provide access to student scholarships, tools for our dedicated faculty and staff, and transformative experiences like study abroad, service opportunities and internships. The entire community is looking forward to furthering these goals even more next year!