Coming #2gether for Jagathon's 20th Anniversary


Jagathon President, Chelsea Walker, talks about Jagathon’s twentieth year and operating through the pandemic.

On March 13, 2020, the Jagathon 2021 year began! With it was the amazing start of Jagathon’s 20th year of being a dance marathon on IUPUI’s campus, but also a global pandemic. Despite the uncertainty that surrounded all aspects of life, Jagathon’s leaders knew one thing for certain. Jagathon would press on.

Jagathon has built a legacy of providing IUPUI students with meaningful involvement, a family on campus, and the inspiration to make a difference in the lives of kids and families served by Riley Hospital for Children. Although Jagathon 2021 will look different, our mission and heart of the organization will stay the same. 

The year began with getting extremely familiar with the Zoom platform. We transitioned Executive Boards and held leadership retreats in the virtual space. We quickly learned whose internet would give them a “robot voice” and what crazy dogs would give surprises to the meetings. We even had a visitor, Chancellor Paydar! 


We continued re-evaluating Jagathon’s traditional plans and mission to see what was possible in this new pandemic space. As students came back to campus and the JagFam was growing, we created many new initiatives. The “Find the Way FTK” event was implemented and became a huge hit! It was a physically distanced scavenger hunt throughout the Indianapolis community and IUPUI campus. We also held virtual JagFam dinners, cooking nights, and movie watching parties. Our Jagathon family was able to creatively connect in the physically distanced and virtual world.

We also continued to recognize the need and be inspired by the incredible work being completed at Riley Hospital. While many of our traditional fundraising sources had been dimensioned due to the pandemic, Jagathon again looked for new ways to effectively execute our mission of supporting pediatric research. We created a new online fundraising push day in recognition of Child Health Day and raised over $20,000. This set a new program record for a fall semester fundraising push day! In celebration of being 100 days away from the Jagathon 2021 capstone event, we also had a brand-new fundraising push day that raised a total of $21,065.13 For The Kids!


We are currently planning and highly looking forward to celebrating our capstone event for Jagathon 2021 on the weekend of April 23rd. With the pandemic came a date change from our traditional first weekend in March for this year’s event. While our traditional event held throughout the entire Campus Center is not possible this year, we can't wait to unite everyone in celebration of our yearlong efforts in the virtual space!

As we continue celebrating all that has been accomplished in the past 20 years of Jagathon and continue to press on to continue its legacy, we want to thank everyone that has continued to encourage, inspire, and support us during this unique time.