“The Fight,” an eight-hour University of Notre Dame online production on Tuesday, May 12, that told stories of how the University is taking “the fight” to the coronavirus pandemic, raised $8.7 million for a Student Emergency Relief Fund and COVID-19 research on campus.
“We are overwhelmed and humbled by the response to ‘The Fight,’” Lou Nanni, vice president for University relations, said. “The coronavirus pandemic has had negative consequences for people all over the world, including so many in our Notre Dame family. We know the needs of our students and their families will be greater than ever before. The incredible stories shared by alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents and friends inspired our benefactors to dig deep, and their selflessness means we raised enough financial aid to help 198 students in the fall.
“This was a phenomenal start toward our goal of raising $30 million for the Student Emergency Relief Fund.”
Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., was joined by other administrators, faculty, students, coaches, alumni and friends of the University throughout the production, which streamed online from 2 to 10 p.m. Tuesday and was viewed by thousands worldwide.
Father Jenkins said the campaign was designed “to make sure that no student is unable to complete their education because of this economic downturn. It is the worst in a century.”
The last hour of the show included a special appearance by country music stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.
In reflecting on his time at Notre Dame in October 2018 when he played before more than 84,000 fans in the first stand-alone concert at Notre Dame Stadium, Brooks said: “We got to learn a lot about Notre Dame (then). I mean, I was already a fan; just a fan of the classiest university on the planet. No offense to my alma mater — I love my alma mater — but I think only Notre Dame could have … pulled off ‘The Fight’ the way you guys have. Congrats on this.”