This summer, I'll highlight an area of Texas Athletics or the larger college athletics landscape each week. I hope you find this information informative and that it further illustrates the story of Texas Athletics and our more than 500 student-athletes.
HOW TEXAS ATHLETICS SUPPORTS ITS STUDENT-ATHLETES
This week, I would like to focus on impact. At Texas, we strive to transform the lives of our student-athletes, allowing them to win with integrity – in academics, in athletics, and in life. Every decision we make and every dollar we raise at Texas Athletics has an impact on student-athletes.
At Texas, we support all of our programs and work to provide them the resources to compete for championships year in and year out. Everything we do is for our more than 500 student-athletes. To sustain and allow our student-athletes to receive best-in-class support services, and build and maintain facilities, we must increase our revenue. We also have several new, positive benefits for our student-athletes including full cost of attendance, increased nutrition, and potential name, image and likeness expenses.
We have expanded our overall fundraising strategy to meet these needs and build the foundation for future generations of Texas student-athletes. This includes a renewed emphasis on philanthropic fundraising, endowments, a more robust and interactive donor engagement program, an increased focus on communicating the impact of donations on student-athletes, and building relationships nationally and internationally.
The Longhorn Foundation's Benefits and Impact Chart really illustrates how a philanthropic donation transforms the life of a student-athlete. For example, approximately $50 covers the daily nutrition costs for one student-athletes. This provides them fuel to not only train and compete, but also to study and achieve in the classroom. You can view the full Benefits and Impact Chart, and see how your philanthropic contributions are working to change lives and contributing to student-athletes success well beyond their time on the Forty Acres. You can also watch a variety of videos in the "Your Impact" section at TheLonghornFoundation.com that illustrate the tangible results a philanthropic contribution provides our student-athletes now and in the future.
Through the amazing support of our Longhorn Foundation members, we reached $36,534,528 in philanthropic contributions to the Annual Fund last weekend – the best annual giving year-to-date ever! The previous mark was set in 2011-12 at $36,497,118. We are also on our way to meeting our goal of $37.6 million by Aug. 31. Furthermore, your support and contributions have grown our endowment in the last 18 months from about $26 million to just below $30 million. Our goal is to reach $32 million by the end of the year. In the long run, you are making each team more self-sustaining and securing the future for generations of Texas student-athletes to come.
Our Sales, Service and Retention Team have also made a huge impact last week with their biggest new sales week to date. Every ticket purchase goes a long way to contribute to overall student-athlete success.
Thank you to everyone who continues to help make these positive results possible. There are many ways to contribute, and we appreciate each effort. These accomplishments are a result of hard work and teamwork, and all Texas student-athletes benefit directly from your impact.
Here are a couple of recent stories that really highlight how you are impacting student-athletes.
On Monday, Women's Basketball senior Imani McGee-Stafford accepted the Honda Inspiration Award at the Collegiate Women's Sports Awards in Los Angeles. She was also recently named the Big 12 Female Sportsperson of the Year – an incredible achievement. If you do not already know Imani's story, I encourage you to read this feature on TexasSports.com and watch this moving piece from ESPN. Imani is an inspiring and extremely talented young woman who has used poetry to work through adversity in her life. She is also a shining example of the type of young person Texas Athletics is able to have an impact on because of philanthropic contributions.
Our men's golf team had a tremendous year with sophomore Beau Hossler earning several awards. Most recently, Beau was named to the All-Nicklaus Team. He is one of 24 players around the country to receive the award. His other achievements this season include being named PING First-Team All-American, the 2015 Big 12 Player of the Year and All-Big 12 First Team. Beau was also named to the 2015 Palmer Cup Team and competed in his third U.S. Open last month. Because of the resources we are able to provide at Texas, we can recruit and nurture top talent like Beau's.
These are just two examples out of many that highlight why we do what we do at Texas Athletics. When you make a philanthropic contribution or purchase a ticket, you can be confident that we use those funds to impact student-athletes.
Happy Fourth of July weekend everyone! Have a safe and enjoyable weekend celebrating our national independence with your family and friends.
Until next time – Hook 'em, Horns!
Men's Athletics Director