Athletics & Recreation / News

Student-athletes give back to DU

Student-athletes at the University of Denver are not waiting until they graduate to give back to their alma mater; they’re doing it now. 

Last year, 88 percent of student-athletes made a financial gift to DU through the Pioneers Reinvesting In Denver Excellence (PRIDE) fund. The fund, which was established to encourage student-athletes to support the University, has grown over the past few years.

“These students understand the great opportunities given to them by DU — scholarships, outstanding education, a fantastic coaching staff, countless athletic opportunities — and giving back to the University is one way they show their pride,” says Pam Wettig, DU’s senior associate athletics director and director of annual giving.

Kacie Wikierak, a  senior on the women’s volleyball team and a member of the executive board of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, sees annual giving by student-athletes as an extension of their participation in University life.

“Student-athletes at DU are committed to reinvesting in their athletic program due to the wonderful opportunities it provides,” Wikierak says. “The donations of these pioneering student-athletes also reflect their appreciation for the alumni, supporters and staff who generously contribute. Being a DU Pioneer is a special privilege that we hope continues for generations to come.”

Student involvement in the PRIDE fund has increased since its inception in the early 2000s and started making strides in 2005. Fiscal year 2009 saw a 51 percent involvement by student-athletes, and that number increased to 88 percent in fiscal year 2010.  The goal is 100 percent participation by students, Wettig says. Currently, 100 percent of athletics staff members give back to DU.

“We encourage participation so that the students will experience the importance of giving back, even at this stage in their lives,” Wettig says. “Additionally, it’s good to be able to tell our alumni and our nonstudent donors about our students’ remarkable involvement in giving to DU.”

When students make a gift, the funds are administered by the Student-Athlete Advisory Council in consultation with a staff member. Last year, the council used funds to buy a printer and supplies for the Ritchie Center study room.


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