Sports

Athletics exceeds fundraising milestone

$100 million milestone in BrownTogether campaign aims to enhance student-athlete experience

By
Senior Staff Writer
Friday, February 15, 2019

Fundraising for the BrownTogether campaign has allowed for the renovation of athletic facilities and recruitment of sports coaches.

The BrownTogether campaign recently eclipsed $100 million raised for the University’s athletic department.

The donations have helped the University build new athletic facilities, hire top coaches and improve recruiting. These funds are part of a larger fundraising campaign launched by President Christina Paxson P’19. Since its launch, the campaign has raised money entirely through donations from Brown alums, parents and others associated with the University, according to the Director of Athletics Jack Hayes. The funds have been focused toward “three primary areas: facility projects, endowed coaching chairs and annual donations that help with general operating needs of athletics,” Hayes said.

Among the many ways in which BrownTogether has impacted University athletics, the campaign has funded renovations to the Marston Boathouse and Pizzitola Sports Center, the creation of new meeting spaces, a locker room for the football team, a new complex for baseball and softball, a new sports medicine room and increased opportunities to send coaches to recruiting events.

“We’re already putting (the new facilities) to use,” said Michael McGovern ’21, quarterback of the football team. “They’re helping us out in a lot of ways, whether it’s just hanging out with the team (or) having plenty of space for team or position meetings. … It’s already helping us as far as recruiting goes, because a lot of recruits come in and see how nice our facilities are.”

Paxson believes that the money raised will improve students’ experiences on and off the field. “The opportunity to participate in athletics, whether competitively or recreationally, complements and enhances the academic success of our students,” she said in a University press release. “The generosity shown … clearly demonstrates the significant role that athletics has played for generations of students at Brown.”

A key donation which contributed to the $100 million fundraising milestone was a $5 million gift from Tom McMullen ’62 to start the Excellence in Athletics Fund, which aims to recruit and support athletes during their time at the University.

Also launched during this fundraising campaign, the Joseph Edelman and Pamela Keld ’83 Fund for Women’s Athletics has helped fulfill recruiting, travel and equipment needs for women’s sports teams.

Men’s hockey captain Max Gottlieb ’19 noted that increases in funding are often necessary to maintain competitiveness in the world of Division I Athletics. “It’s kind of like an arms race to have the newest facilities, the newest top-of-line gear and training staff,” he said. “At Brown we’ve definitely been encouraged by some of things that the department has done this year, but there’s definitely a lot to be done still.”

Hayes agreed that there are always more improvements that can be made to the athletic department. “There’s always going to be day-to-day needs of coaches, whether it be team travel or recruiting needs; those things will always be there,” he said. “There are more endowed coaching positions that we hope we have the opportunity to establish. And the facility enhancement or the facility renovation part of athletics is never-ending. There’s always a facility that could use a renovation or an upgrade.” Hayes hopes that the BrownTogether campaign will continue to pay dividends and improve the athletic department for years to come.