GW men’s water polo earned $10,000 in the Buff & Blue Fund Challenge, earning both the first-place and most improved prizes, on account of unprecedented support from program alumni. Across GW Athletics, more than 22% of GW student-athlete alumni have contributed in the 2017 fiscal year as of the end of the Challenge, more than double the national alumni giving rate.
“GW is committed to providing the best possible resources each and every year to our five hundred student-athletes,” Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Nero said. “Our 22% giving rate proves the value of the GW student-athlete experience and our alumni community’s commitment to paying it forward to the next generation of Colonials.”
The student-athlete Buff & Blue Fund Challenge is an annual competition among the alumni of GW’s 27 varsity sports. Each team competes for the highest percentage of gifts from their alumni and seniors, who give through the Senior Class Gift program.
GW men’s water polo alumni earned the top prize of $8,000, based on a team alumni giving percentage of 84.59%, and the $2,000 most improved award after a 14.17% participation rate last year. Gymnastics, the defending champion, earned the $6,000 second prize after improving their giving from 45.99% to 71.88%. Women’s squash came in third at 47.96%, earning the team $4,000.
This year’s Challenge was made possible by a $20,000 gift from Michelle Rubin, ESIA ‘91, the chair of the GW Athletics Advisory Council.
“I’m so proud of my fellow alumni for stepping up and improving our giving rate by more than 200 alumni,” Rubin said. “The entire GW alumni community takes pride in supporting the Colonials, and our student-athlete alumni are leading the way.”
At the end of last year’s Challenge, the student-athlete giving rate was 16.9%.
“Our Challenge winnings, in addition to all the generous gifts provided by our alumni community, will give us the resources we need to compete for a championship in Fall 2017,” GW Water Polo Head Coach Adam Foley said. “I’m grateful to all our alumni, and to Michelle for making this all possible.”
The “Fan and Family” version of the Buff & Blue Fund Challenge will continue through the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship. Supporters of GW Athletics can make a gift to support student-athlete athletic and academic support through the Buff & Blue Fund. Every 100 donors to the Buff & Blue Fund earns a $10,000 gift from the membership of the GW Athletics Advisory Council.
This story originally appeared on GW Sports.