#Grateful4Graceland Day of Gratitude header

#Grateful4Graceland Day of Gratitude was a HUGE success!

With a goal of $360,000, we raised $446,000 (including a $180,000 match) - $86,000 over our goal! THANK YOU to everyone who joined us and gave to The Graceland Fund. We are grateful for YOU!

On Thursday, April 23, we asked alumni and friends to reflect on their Graceland experience, express what they were grateful for on social media and make a gift to help students. As you can see, the results were nothing short of amazing!

Messages of gratitude flooded social media (see below) and there were pre-recorded performances, interviews, and special content.  You can watch them on the Graceland University Facebook page or YouTube channel.

A group of alumni, friends and their matching employers stepped up with a pool of matching dollars. Gifts were matched 1:1. That means gifts to The Graceland Fund for #Grateful4Graceland were doubled!

THANK YOU to our Matching Challenge pool of donors:

  • Sue Bevington '89
  • Gail Hice Brown '63
  • John '61 and Dahna Loeding
  • Judith Moore '60
  • Ronald '61 and Pat Gabrielson '64 Trachsel

If you would like to make a gift, please visit our Make a Gift Today page.

What people are sharing about #Grateful4Graceland

My experience was so consistently outstanding as I completed my goal of a BSN. – Judy Kanarek '96 LaRue 

I have two sons that are Graceland graduates and one is Graceland's Head Men's Soccer Coach.  – Patricia Sharrar '68 Courtney 

Because of all the opportunities it has given me, the friendships formed here, and the memories made!—Taylor Warner ’18 Wintermote 

Because of the lifelong friends I made, and I found the love of my life, Chaz Seefeldt!—Bethany Smith ’84 Seefeldt 

Changed my life. –Jerry Mogg  '65

For the generational memories, professional connections, and lifelong community. –Lynley Closson ’15 

Friends, family, faith, faculty shaped my future!—Jeffrey Evans ’70

Graceland has been a perfect fit and wonderful experience for my daughter Rosie!—Krystal Wasko, Parent of Student 

Graceland provides wonderful opportunities in so many ways. We will be forever grateful for the experiences that we had on the hill.—Ed Kaleikau ’81 and Lori White ’81 Kaleikau

Graceland remains a beacon of hope and a reminder of love in the darkest times. –Jason Titus ’06  

Great memories / lifelong friends / Nursing career –Linda Dempsey ’85 Webb 

I am #Grateful4Graceland because it challenged me to become the best version of myself. –Carley Tankersley ’16 

I am grateful for my years of studies at Graceland from where I obtained my BSN and MSN. I am grateful for all my professors and classmates. I am grateful that I have a job, a roof under my head, and a supportive family. –Emilienne Youmbi ’00 Watonsi   

I am grateful for the education I received, but even more for the relationships that I have been able to enjoy and nurture through the years through the Graceland opportunities and ties.—Gail Jones ’78 Sundell

I had a wonderful growing up and expanding my life couple of years there.  A blessing!! –Sandra Axtell ’69 Schubert 

I met many life long friends at Graceland and I got an education that has served me very well. –Lisa Sheehy ‘80 Stobbe  

It gave me so many life time friends and launched me into a wonderful professional career. –Rick Bunch ’62 

Lasting friendships. –Kent Hartnett ’79 and Sherri Shupe ’79 Hartnett    

My life wouldn't be the same without the blessings received while at Graceland. –Joel Cox ’78 

Too many reasons to list!  --Vern '75 & Barb Bryan ’76 Brock   

I'm #Grateful4Graceland, because it brings together all the important elements to ensure the perfect learning environment. Those things, for me, are community, academic excellence, and its rural location. –Parker Johnson ’10 

4 great years! –David Wilson 

A good education & wonderful friends.  –Linda Thomson 

Graceland allowed me to do things that I wouldn't have been able to do at a larger university. Then to reengage with it through SPECTACULAR and Seminary later in life brought more respect and admiration. –Douglas Graves '91 

We are grateful because of our daughters' experience at Graceland. (Emily Martz and Dora Martz) –Matthew and Elizabeth Martz 

Graduated in 1992 and now my daughter will be HP of Shalom next year and my son is attending in the fall as a freshman. Graceland has changed the course of my life and so happy to show support today and in the years ahead. We are #gracelandforever and we will get through this together! –Kristi Main Hettrick  

To me, the Gestalt of Graceland's outstanding and caring faculty, supportive and nurturing student body, athletic opportunities, and it's "Spiritual Foundation,"  became an experience of highest ideals-- with the encouragement to a life service of integrity, and the courage to challenge the converse.  –Jim Barker ’69  

Proud to be a Graceland Alumni! –Glen Kelley ’70  

I was a student many years ago and taught for 33 years at Graceland.  I have made many friends and have had the pleasure of teaching some really great students.  I am grateful for being able to see what wonderful things Graceland students have accomplished over the years and that has made it all worthwhile. –Phyllis Sandidge ’65 O’Daniels, Faculty Emeritus

Graceland has been both a challenge and a gift throughout my life. –Bob ’57 and Jerie Gail Davis ‘57 Ramsey 

I met good lifetime friends and received an excellent education. –William Campbell ’69

My parents, Myron and Karen Willard met there.  Everyone in my family attended Graceland and three of us graduated from Graceland.  To say that it has positively impacted the Willard family is an understatement.  Loved my time playing softball and still have lifelong friends.  Looking forward to my son attending there in 2021! --Darcia Willard ‘91 Farrell 

My roots at Graceland go back to 1937, and I will never forget the impact the people at GU have made on my family and on me. –Marjorie Siegfried ’80 Foster 

The forever memories. –Carrol Stanley ’54 McCans 

Graceland is a wonderful place.  I made friends for life.  We don't see each other often but when we do it's a great day!  I have four alma maters, but Graceland is the one next to my heart.  –Richard Booth '55

I really enjoyed living in the halls and all of the activities with my floor (Aponivi Angels)!  The professors and staff were great!  Thank You! – Callie Clow '13

It has been the central point in my life since I became a faculty brat in 1935.  – Bill Higdon '49

I was able to complete my BSN (as a personal goal).  Thank you!  -- Nancy Yarnell '99

For friendships made – lifelong.  For great professors.  For solid education.  – Terry Barker '77

It was a wonderful college experience.  I have made lifelong friends and met my husband there.  We've been together 45 years.  My professors were amazing.  Lamoni was a safe, cozy town to explore '74-'78.  – Tricia Crowson '78 Eichner

Many great memories of my class of 1952.  – John Midgorden '52

Being a student at Graceland is the best decision of my life. – Whitman Stanfield-Myers '23

We are grateful for Graceland's influence in our family's lives.  Gene & I were married after meeting at Graceland in 1953.  Our children and grandchildren have also attended Graceland and are productive, successful children of God:  John '93 Miller, Michele Miller '92 Williams, Alexis Miller '16, Blair Williams '20.  God is so Good!   – Wanda Fears '55 Miller

My academic, social and religious experiences at Graceland gave me opportunities to learn, grow and serve.  Graceland offers a foundation which can be trusted to provide vision for one's lifetime.  Jeanne Booth '65 Koch

Great education, great life-long friends, and great memories.  – Della Shaw '83 Goodson

Graceland is where I fell in love with my husband 50 years ago. – Trish Campbell '70 Hope

I received a good education, met the man who would become my husband, was accepted and supported as a foreign student. – Brenda Shaw '64 Mitchell

My academic and social and religious experiences at Graceland gave me opportunities to learn and grow and serve.  Graceland offers a foundation which can be trusted to provide vision for one's lifetime. – Jeanne Booth '65 Koch

Graceland is always there when I need them:

Undergraduate degree
Student teaching
Teaching art early in my career
Use of ceramics studio
Retired alumna benefit
Taking ceramics with Jacob Zimmerman

 – Mary Ellen Foss '75 Kimball

I planned to go to Graceland as a young child and my parents sent small amounts of money to Graceland through the years.  So when I got there any education was paid for.  I made many life long friends and a wonderful husband of 64 years.  “Spirit of Graceland, those thy paths have trod-found thee the spirit of the Living God”.  – Shirley Arnold '55 Smith

I am grateful that Graceland's caring community is an enduring source of education experiences, treasured memories, and honorable values for its past, present, and future members.  – Mary Jean Murdock '65 Jeanae

O Great Honest School, College and University – David Kent '55

Great education, great life-long friends, and great memories.  – Della Shaw '83 Goodson