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September 30, 2009
Exceptional Potential, Extraordinary Achievers
Bob De Carolis's June and October A.D. Reports describe the challenges OSU Athletics has been facing this year with ticket sales and the Beaver Athletic Student Fund annual fund drive. While we have seen growth in BASF gifts and ticket sales over the past five years, it has not kept pace with the expenses of running a comprehensive, competitive Pac-12 athletic program. It’s time to grow our BASF donor base, and sights are set on increasing the current number of 6,300 donors up to 12,000 by 2012.
Why focus on Athletics? While decreased revenue has an immediate and obvious impact on athletic programs, building philanthropic support for Athletics is also important:
Through expectations of hard work, integrity, and achievement in a family-oriented environment, OSU student-athletes develop into leaders, guided by coaches who distinguish themselves as educators and mentors. Our student-athletes are grateful for the educational opportunity competitive athletics provides, and they and their educator-coaches understand that intercollegiate athletics can transform young lives for the better, forever.
OSU focuses on developing student-athletes into champions, on and off the field, so they will excel professionally and personally throughout their lives. We see the results of these efforts:
• 51% percent of our student-athletes have a GPA greater than 3.0.
• 60% of OSU student-athletes who are first generation college students successfully graduate, compared to 11% nationally.
OSU is committed to a nationally competitive/winning program, recognizing the value it brings to the university in visibility, investment, student enrollment, and state and national pride and support. We see the impact of donor engagement through Athletics in specific ways:
• Athletics is the "front porch" for alumni as they re-engage with the university after graduation and begin to support their alma mater philanthropically. In fact, of the 500+ households that have given $100,000 or more to OSU, almost 20% began with a gift to Athletics.
• Donors to Athletics are very supportive of all aspects of the university. From fiscal years 2001 to 2008, Oregon State donors gave over $125 million to intercollegiate athletics. More than half (55%) of those donors also made gifts to academic units totaling $106 million in the same period.
• BASF donors also are active members of the OSU community through Athletics and beyond. More than 30% of BASF donor households are dues paying members of the OSU Alumni Association.
OSU Athletics has a major impact on the economic well-being of the Corvallis community. In fiscal year 2007, for example, Beaver athletic events brought an estimated $27 million into the local economy.
OSU student-athletes also perform more than 4,200 hours of community service per year, from the volleyball team’s long involvement with Habitat for Humanity to the elementary school carnival the men's soccer team hosts every year – plus innumerable small-scale outreach and service activities, such as a recent visit to a special football fan in hospice.
The story of Taylor Kavanaugh's trip to Guatemala illustrates the impact OSU student-athletes are having not just locally but worldwide.
If you're not currently a supporter of our student-athletes, please consider making a gift to the BASF today.