$50,000 Gift to Marching Band and Graduate Student Continues University of Virginia Athletics Department Tradition of Academic Support

January 23, 2006 — The University of Virginia’s Department of Athletics is giving $50,000 from its share of the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl football game proceeds to U.Va.’s academic programs. For the second year in a row, athletics has split the money into two $25,000 gifts, one going to the Cavalier Marching Band endowment, and one to U.Va.’s Faculty Senate to support a graduate student fellowship recognizing excellence in teaching and research.

Director of Athletics Craig K. Littlepage will announce the gifts at the Jan. 24 men’s Cavalier basketball game against the University of Miami in U-Hall.

“As we have done in the past, we are sharing the success of our football program by providing gifts to the Faculty Senate Dissertation-Year Fellowship program and the Marching Band endowment. In both cases, students and the University community benefit from this support,” Littlepage said.

The gift to the Faculty Senate will support one of its six Dissertation-Year Fellowships and will provide tuition, fees, health insurance and a living stipend to the recipient. This is the fourth year the Faculty Senate has offered the fellowships. Funding for the other five fellowships comes from the Provost's Office, the Curry School of Education, the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

“The Faculty Senate is very proud to be able to bring together funds to support graduate students in the last year of their studies. I think the gift from the athletics department says a lot about the shared values of academics across the University community,” said Houston Wood, chairman of the Faculty Senate. “Student-athletes are rewarded with academic scholarships for performance in their sport, and these Dissertation-Year Fellowships are intended to recognize and to reward graduate students for excellence in teaching and research. We expect the recipients of the fellowships to be scholars who will go into careers that will make contributions to society. This is a win-win for everyone.”

The other $25,000 gift goes to the Cavalier Marching Band endowment. The band, which made its debut in 2004, was created through a $1.5 million gift from longtime U.Va. benefactors Carl and Hunter Smith.

“The McIntire Department of Music is very proud of the University's excellent Marching Band program, which is offering opportunities for musical expression and teamwork for a rapidly increasing number of undergraduates,” said Katharine Maus, chairman of the music department. “We deeply appreciate the athletics department's collaboration in this important endeavor, and are grateful for its generous support of the Marching Band endowment.”

U.Va.’s athletics department received $780,000 in the most recent bowl pay out. Since the Cavalier football team’s first postseason appearance in the 1984 Peach Bowl, athletics has donated more than $930,000 toward academic projects. Among the causes bowl revenues have supported are computer purchases, the University’s Eminent Scholars endowment, a newspaper database for the University Library, endowment of the Cavaliers Distinguished Teaching Professorship, a telephone course-registration system (ISIS) and a music festival in fall 2004.