Generosity for athletics boosts on-field successes
BU’s varsity teams are on a hot streak. Women’s soccer has won three straight Patriot League titles and field hockey two. Men’s lacrosse—just three seasons into competition—ranked as high as 16th in the US this year. And women’s golf, which took the 2015 league team title, saw star Adela Cejnarova (CAS’17) capture a second-straight individual title this spring.
An important subplot in this success story, says BU Athletics Director Drew Marrochello, is the role donors have played in supporting BU’s young athletes. “We know it takes more than a financial investment to produce champions,” he says. “But across many of our programs, we’re witnessing what philanthropy can make possible.”
A landmark campaign moment was the 2013 opening of New Balance Field, made possible by a $3 million pledge from the shoe manufacturer and gifts from a half-dozen alumni. Many other contributions have boosted BU’s 24 athletics programs. Both men’s lacrosse and women’s golf recently moved into new locker rooms, renovated with donor support. These professional-level spaces are major points of pride in recruiting and have set a high bar for other athletics facilities.
“We know it takes more than a financial investment to produce champions. But across many of our programs, we’re witnessing what philanthropy can make possible.” —Drew Marrochello
Marrochello also points out the critical importance of scholarships for student-athletes. “These young athletes face many challenges in balancing competition, scholarship, and service,” he says. “Scholarships—including those for summer study—help our students succeed in all aspects of their BU experience.” Today, BU’s varsity athletes are doing as well in the classroom as they are in competition: For the third straight year, they achieved a graduation success rate of 95 percent, with 11 teams recording 100 percent. To date, campaign donors have created 36 scholarships for student-athletes; Marrochello hopes this number will rise to 50 by the campaign’s end.
“Investments like these signal to our student-athletes that we take them and their pursuits seriously,” he added. “Donor support reminds them that they have a special place within the greater BU community.”