LEWISBURG, PA – The books have closed on the fiscal year at Bucknell University, and thanks to the continued support of Bison alumni, parents and friends, the Bison Club turned in yet another record-breaking fundraising year.
The fundraising arm of Bucknell University’s 27 varsity athletics programs, the Bison Club received a new all-time high of $2,465,538 in donations, topping the previous mark of $2,412,166 set just a year ago. In addition, the athletics programs received another $244,370 as a result of team-specific fundraising activities, allowing Bison Athletics to accumulate a record-total of $2,709,908 in annual support during the past fiscal year.
A record-breaking 4,219 donors contributed to Bison Athletics during the year, including all 148 senior student-athletes, marking the seventh consecutive year of 100-percent participation by those graduating from the Orange and Blue.
“The tremendous annual support and generosity we receive continues to illustrate the passion and pride our alumni, parents and friends have for our 27 varsity programs and the dedicated student-athletes and their coaches who represent Bucknell,” director of athletics and recreation John Hardt said. “We hope to build upon this success and provide even better support and competitive opportunities for our Bison student-athletes and their programs.”
This is the fifth time in the past six years the Bison Club has surpassed the $2-million mark, and the 14th straight year it has been over $1 million. In the past 13 years the Bison Club has raised over $25 million in annual support of Bucknell Athletics.
“With the generous financial support of our donors and the continued cultivation, solicitation and stewardship efforts led by our head coaches and athletics development staff, we continue to raise the bar and exceed our stated goals,” said Todd Newcomb ’88, P’19, the director of the Bison Club. “As our donor base continues to expand, we are able to enhance the already first-class, highly competitive, Division I experience that our student-athletes receive at a highly-selective academic institution.”
In terms of individual sport fundraising, 14 of the 21 head coaches (list includes all varsity sports plus cheerleading) met their individual fundraising goals. Ten programs topped the $100,000 mark, and 10 also set records in terms of dollars raised in a single year.
In addition to the tremendous success the athletics annual fund has had, the department of athletics and recreation received numerous capital gifts to allow for the completion of several enhancements and upgrades to its facilities over the past year.
At Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium, completed projects include brand new football lockers, a refurbished press box, a brand new outdoor track and improvements to the FieldTurf surface. Inside Gerhard Fieldhouse on the second floor, Zeller Lounge has been completely renovated, both inside and out, and newly furnished into a student-athlete hearth and study space. In Sojka Pavilion, the Green Room has been remodeled so that it can serve as a new team meeting space as well as a postgame gathering room. In addition, a second video board will be added to the north end of the arena along with enhancements to the repeater scoreboard on the south wall. Across Route 15 at the West Fields Complex, the next phase of construction – to include grandstands and press boxes -- at both Depew Field and Becker Field will begin later this month.
If you would like to support Bucknell University Athletics and make a difference in the lives of more than 750 varsity student-athletes, you can make a donation here, or contact Todd Newcomb in the Bison Club office at 570-577-1771.