Penn State joins Big Ten institutions for One Big Week

September 07, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – This fall, Penn State will join its Big Ten institutional partners for One Big Week, a seven-day event that challenges university communities to channel school pride into student support.

From midnight on Sunday, Sept. 12 through 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18, Penn State alumni and friends can participate by making a gift to the Student Care & Advocacy Student Emergency Fund or to one of 42 featured emergency funds at Penn State colleges and campuses across the commonwealth.

Emergency funds help Penn Staters to stay on track when hardship strikes, commonly supporting the expenses of basic needs such as groceries, monthly utilities, course materials and more. A crucial part of the University’s ongoing work to address student food and housing security, central resources like the Student Care & Advocacy Student Emergency Fund have played a pivotal role in keeping the pursuit of a Penn State degree accessible for thousands of students through the recent challenges of the global health crisis. Many of these funds were depleted during the 2020-21 academic year, so One Big Week is an opportunity to ensure that sufficient resources remain available for any student who needs them.

“Since March 2020, more than $1 million has been awarded through the Student Care & Advocacy Student Emergency Fund, reaching over 1,400 Penn Staters across the commonwealth,” said Anna Barone, director of student care & advocacy at Penn State. “We were able to provide this level of aid thanks to the generosity of Penn State alumni and friends, and as we work to replenish the fund that is now nearly depleted, I’m grateful for the opportunity that One Big Week will give our community to join together again to help more students.”

One Big Week is the second Big Ten fundraising match up in recent Penn State history. In 2019, the Tackle Hunger Giving Challenge saw the University go head-to-head vs. Ohio State in a weeklong competition to see who could raise the highest number of $5 gifts for each school’s respective campus food pantries. More than 10,000 Penn State alumni and friends rallied together to raise $213,830 for students facing food insecurity — a show of support that helped to see the student community through the hardest days of the COVID-19 crisis that followed soon after and demonstrated that the University community is invested in student well-being.

One Big Week will call upon this same spirit of support for students. “Our participation in One Big Week provides Penn Staters with the chance to show our Big Ten rivals that the ‘We Are’ spirit is more than just a stadium cheer,” said Rich Bundy, vice president for development and alumni relations at Penn State. “It gives us the chance to support students when they need it the most. When the Penn State community comes together, big things happen. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish for our students.”

More information about One Big Week can be found at Starting Sept. 12, gifts can be made through the event website or by texting ONEBIGWEEK to 51555, and collective Big Ten fundraising progress will be updated across the week at Information and updates will be available across Penn State’s digital platforms, including Raise Penn State on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Penn State alumni and friends are encouraged to share information about the challenge with their personal networks.

Gifts made during One Big Week will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hard-working students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit

Last Updated September 15, 2021