In 1986, Congress passed a bill called the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act, which reduced funding for all programs in the federal budget. Under the proposed legislation, over 161,900 students and 300 colleges would have been eliminated from participating in TRiO programs during the next two fiscal years.
TRiO leaders asked Congress to proclaim February 28, 1986 as "National TRiO Day" in increase awareness and rally support for the programs. The House and Senate declared a concurrent resolution, which detailed the negative impact of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act on TRiO programs.
According to the 1986 Congressional resolution, National TRiO Day is meant to focus the nation's "attention on the needs of disadvantaged young people and adults aspiring to improve their lives, to the necessary investment if they are to become contributing citizens of the country, and to the talent which will be wasted if that investment is not made."
TRiO staff, students and alumni participated in the first National TRiO Day by organizing local political activities that communicated the significance of TRiO programs to their representatives in Congress and to other local politicians.
TRiO Day has been proclaimed a National Day of Service. We are encouraged to perform acts of community service as a way to give back to our community and say thank you for their support. National TRiO Day is always the last Saturday of February.