Bellarmine University’s inaugural Champion the Knights Athletics Week of Giving was a resounding success, with $120,195 given from Nov. 15-19, in support of the Knights Athletics Fund and individual teams.
The campaign had a goal of raising $71,000 in honor of the Bellarmine’s 71st year as an institution but crushed that goal within 36 hours and finished as one of the most successful campaigns in Athletics’ history. Bellarmine received gifts from 417 individual supporters, including, notably, a record number of current students and parents.
“The support shown to Bellarmine’s student-athletes during the Champion the Knights campaign has been tremendous,” Director of Athletics Scott Wiegandt said. “On behalf of the entire athletics staff and our student-athletes, I would like to thank the University community and all the donors who have championed the cause of Bellarmine Athletics. I know it means a lot to the student-athletes to see how much they are supported. Financial support is vital in helping us compete for championships.”
The campaign was created to give Athletics more time and opportunity to raise needed funds outside of Bellarmine’s annual Day of Giving in April. The gifts will directly support student-athletes and the University’s strategic move to NCAA Division I.
The recent move to D-I enables student-athletes to compete at the highest level of collegiate competition and raises the University’s profile to larger regional and national audiences. In the first year of D-I play, the Knights were named the academic champions of the ASUN Conference.
The move to D-I has associated costs, and this campaign, along with other strategic fundraising efforts, are addressing them.
The men’s basketball team raised the most funds, with $23,160 from 15 supporters.
“Thank you to all who contributed this year to the Athletics’ Week of Giving,” said Matt Ury, a lacrosse player. “We are so fortunate because of all of you. None of this would be possible without you. You allow us to play the sports we love. Swords up!”
Madison DeVillez, a player on the women’s tennis team, was equally grateful.
“Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity,” she said. “We sincerely appreciate your support in helping us reach our goal as a team and as a school.”
Click here to see more pictures from last week’s campaign kickoff on campus.