Wear Black, Give Back reaches new heights in 2023

Two girls hold up the "horns up" hand sign on Wear Black, Give Back 2023.
Maverick Maniacs members Lisa Grabowski and Lucia Revello show their support for UNO during Wear Black, Give Back on Nov. 8, 2023. Credit/University of Nebraska Foundation

It was a great day to be a Maverick!

During Wear Black, Give Back Nov. 8-9, 2023, Maverick supporters donated a record-setting $761,285 to support the University of Nebraska at Omaha. During the 24-hour day of giving, 4,967 gifts were made, surpassing the goal of 4,000 gifts.

“I’m overjoyed by the generosity shown during the fourth annual Wear Black, Give Back,” UNO Chancellor Joanne Li, Ph.D., CFA, said. “Maverick supporters came together in a record-setting way to invest in UNO scholarships, colleges, programs, student organizations and so much more. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a part of the future success of our metropolitan university.”

Wear Black, Give Back began at noon Wednesday and concluded at noon Thursday. Gifts were made online at givingday.unomaha.edu. Participants were encouraged to wear their UNO apparel with pride and share on social media why they give back, using #WearBlackGiveBack.

The giving day results will provide needed resources for UNO’s colleges and programs, Omaha Athletics, the Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library, the Maverick Food Pantry, student scholarships and other priorities. Donors pledged more than $460,000 in challenge and matching funds to encourage others to give. The event drew record participation from the campus community, with more than 700 faculty/staff participants and more than 500 student participants.

The UNO Jazz program was among the priorities to benefit from Wear Black, Give Back. With more than $11,000 raised for the program, Pete Madsen, area coordinator for Jazz Studies at UNO, said the support reflects the program’s involvement in the community.

“The funds raised during Wear Black, Give Back impact our students in many, many ways,” Madsen said. “There are so many needs within a vibrant jazz program, including travel, getting music and equipment and addressing scholarship needs. It means so much to the students to have these experiences.”

Wear Black, Give Back kicked off with a festival on Wednesday near the Henningson Memorial Campanile that included a food truck, a live DJ, games and an appearance by Durango. Omaha Head Baseball Coach Evan Porter joined in the festivities, sporting a big smile as he took a pie in the face. “I love this place,” said Porter, a Maverick baseball player from 2005 to 2009. “This city and this university are very dear to my heart. It’s inspiring to see how this university has grown since I was a student-athlete here.”

Tables also were set up with representatives of some of the 59 student organizations who participated in Wear Black, Give Back. Of the total $761,285 raised, student groups collectively received more than $55,000.

Pre-Dental Club President Emmely Pineda, a senior biology major, took part in the festival to spread the word on campus about her club, which hosts speakers to help students learn about the profession and provides assistance with studying for the Dental Admission Test and applying for dental school.

“I feel dentistry is the perfect mix between science and art,” Pineda said. “The science part involves being a doctor and the art part involves reconstructing people’s teeth and creating crowns.”

Camden Carmichael raised funds for the UNO Curling Club as part of Wear Black, Give Back. The club, which competes against other curling clubs throughout Nebraska and the surrounding area, has nearly doubled in size in its second year on campus.

“I’m really thankful for all of the donations and contributions, because they have helped us share our love for the sport of curling and really open the door for other people to join our community,” said Carmichael, a junior criminology and criminal justice major.

This is the fourth year for Wear Black, Give Back. During the 2022 giving day, 3,794 gifts were made, totaling more than $553,000.

About the University of Nebraska Foundation

The University of Nebraska Foundation grows relationships and resources that enable the University of Nebraska to change lives and save lives. During the most recent fiscal year, 58,072 donors supported the University of Nebraska, and a record $354.5 million in new funds was committed to aid UNK, UNL, UNO, NCTA and UNMC and its clinical partner, Nebraska Medicine. The foundation raises more than $7 for every $1 spent. Only in Nebraska: A Campaign for Our University’s Future is its current campaign with a goal to raise $3 billion from 150,000 unique benefactors to support the University of Nebraska. More information is at OnlyinNebraska.org.

Share this story:


Looking for more stories?