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Golden Bears Rise To The Occasion.

The Cal Athletics family has once again stepped up and provided unwavering support to our student-athletes, resulting in a five year high of just over $40 million. We want to thank everyone who gave and supported Cal Athletics' mission to be the model for intercollegiate excellence this past year and helped the department reach new heights.

 

All together, Cal Athletics raised $40,860,000 in gifts and pledges last fiscal year from 9,780 gifts made by 5,420 donors, including 1,069 first-time donors. We remain grateful for those who supported our 30 programs, invested in student-athlete experiences and enriched our scholarship opportunities. Cal Athletics increased the number of scholarships enhancing our ability to recruit and retain student-athletes while providing them the support they need to succeed holistically as a student. 

 

The “Roll On” Campaign was launched at the beginning of July 2020 with a goal of continuing to provide our 850 student-athletes a world-class experience. With the incredible compassion and dedication of our donors, we were able to surpass our goal of $15 million, which allowed us the resources needed to “Roll On” through the pandemic, ensuring the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff while we continued to pursue athletic excellence. 

 

Your generosity helped our student-athletes earn 385 conference all-academic selections, 42 All-America honors, five Player of the Year honors, five conference Coaches of the Year winners, 31 individual conference champions, eight individual national champions, and 24 first-team all-conference selections. We had 51 Cal athletes and eight coaches attend and compete at the Olympics and came home with 16 medals to raise our all-time total to 223 medals. 

 

“In what was an incredibly challenging year, I was inspired by the generosity and engagement of our Cal family,” Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said. “Without your constant support, we would not have been able to provide our student-athletes with the infrastructure and resources needed to be successful both academically and athletically in a year where the only constant was change. I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish together and believe in the strength of our community now more than ever.”

 

Last year, several transformational gifts were made that are critical to ensuring the long term success of Cal Athletics. 

 

The Travers Family Foundation established the Travers Family Head Football Coach Endowment with a $7.5 million commitment that would provide the resources to operate a world-class football program. There is only one other school in the Pac-12 that has this same level of support for its football program. 

 

Lynn ‘58 and Ned Little committed over $5 million dollars as an estate gift to cover the current cost of attendance for scholarships for Cal men's and women's golf, as well as women's tennis. Each program will receive just under $1.7 million to fund The Edward H. and Lynn Little Scholarship. The undeniable Cal spirit that was embedded in Lynn and Ned Little will live on in these three programs.

 

Joan Parker ‘63 made a $3.5 million bequest commitment to the four programs she once coached in the 1960s and '70s, with 25 percent of the funding going to each team. The gift will further fund the already existing Joan Parker Volleyball Scholarship, Luella J. Lilly Softball Scholarship and Women's Basketball Discretionary Fund. The gift will also establish the Joan Parker's 1970's Women's Tennis Teams Scholarship.

 

Stu Gordon made a $2 million dollar gift to the Cal baseball program to name the baseball field that will fund an endowment in support of Cal baseball. Gordon, who pitched for the Bears during the early 1960s, has donated $6.3 million to the Cal baseball program over the years. His biggest impact arguably came in 2011 when he spearheaded the effort to reinstate the program after it had been a candidate to be eliminated because of budgetary constraints.

 

Paul White made a $1.5 million dollar gift that will establish the Paul F. White Innovation and Wellness Center in California Memorial Stadium. The center will serve as a headquarters for Cal's football players to obtain healthy nutritional snacks and receive innovative treatments to facilitate recovery from football-related injuries in a state-of-the-art training room. These facilities will allow the players and the team to compete at the highest level.

 

The Rogers Family Foundation made a $1 million gift to create the Lippett Founder’s Scholarship and continued its steadfast support of Cal men’s crew. Cal women’s crew had a profound impact on Peter Lippett’s life, inspiring him and his wife of 47 years, Joellen, to include in their estate plan a $1 million gift to endow a scholarship for the program. Lippett never imagined that Cal oarswomen would benefit from his commitment in his lifetime. However, through the Rogers gift, Lippett’s estate gift will be brought forward to be celebrated in his lifetime by the creation of the Peter Lippett Founder’s Scholarship. Lippett has enthusiastically agreed to amend his estate plan and pledge his $1 million gift to the Cal men’s crew’s endowment.

 

Cal Athletics also received several significant anonymous gifts that further contributed to the fiscal year’s success.

 

Significant strides were made towards our three Bold Goals, which encompass our campaign priorities: providing exceptional student-athlete experiences, team and individual competitive success, and attracting and retaining the best people. 

 

Exceptional Student-Athlete Experiences

Cal strives to be the first-choice destination for student-athletes who value the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence, and who will passionately pursue their professional aspirations. To attract these elite student-athletes, we must strive to be exceptional in everything we do to support the young men and women who juggle rigorous course loads, and balance intense training and competitive demands while they represent the university.In line with this, the Gender Equality Campaign continued its efforts to raise support to enhance facilities and opportunities for two of our women’s sports programs - softball and beach volleyball - and further efforts are expected as we look to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX. The Cameron Institute formally launched last fall after a year of planning. Made possible by a $12.5 million lead gift from C. Bryan Cameron, the innovative program will be guided by The California Way model-a set of aspirational outcomes positioning our student-athletes to flourish while at Cal and for a lifetime. 

 

Team and Individual Competitive Success

Cal’s long history of winning national and conference championships attracts the best and brightest student- athletes in the United States and abroad. The Bears have won at least one national championship for 46 straight years and have been more successful than many countries at the Olympics. 

 

Cal is committed to enhance the ways our programs support our student-athletes to provide premier opportunities to achieve on the national level. Gifts to our annual funds directly support team operations and provide resources needed to compete at this elite level. 

 

Attract and Retain the Best People
Cal aims to hire elite coaches, staff and administrators to lead our student-athletes while demonstrating an unwavering commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.Coaches and staff should be exemplary representatives of the university and value the role Cal Athletics plays in the overall campus experience. 

 

We look to surround our student-athletes with people who will help them maximize their full athletic and academic potential, while growing as individuals prepared for post-graduation success.Head coach endowments, such as the Travers Family Head Football Coach endowment, strengthen their respective programs and make it possible to retain great staff. Additionally, the increase in scholarships this year attracts more student-athletes and gives us a critical recruiting edge. 

 

With two and a half  years remaining in the UC Berkeley campus-wide campaign Light the Way, your support is now more crucial than ever in achieving our three Bold Goals. Despite the challenging times, we are pleased to report that we have raised $260 million of our $350 million campaign goal (74 percent), with supporters having until Dec. 31, 2023, to make a gift or pledge.

 

If you have any questions about supporting one of the 30 sports programs or three bold goals, please contact Cal Athletics Fund at calathleticsfund@berkeley.edu or 510-642-2427. Visit Calathleticsfund.com for more details.

Go Bears!