2022-23 Year In Review
At Cal, the pursuit of excellence goes beyond victories in competition; it is reflected in the academic achievements of student-athletes, the impact of an elite coaching staff, and the opportunities provided for 850+ student-athletes on a daily basis. The generosity of the Cal family makes these successes possible, and their philanthropic support during the 2022-23 fiscal year went unparalleled.
In total, Cal Athletics received $42.2 million in gifts and pledges last fiscal year through 10,016 gifts made by 5,545 donors - a 6.5% increase in philanthropy from the previous fiscal year. Programmatic support continues to be a critical area of focus for Cal Athletics. Of this total, $12.8 million was provided last fiscal year in support of sports program’s operations. That generosity directly impacted teams like men’s water polo, men’s swimming & diving, and men’s crew - who all won national team championships during the 2022-2023 year.
Philanthropic support from the Cal family provides the stability and funds to accelerate important initiatives. In partnership with the department’s increased commitment, three key programs saw enhanced levels of support last fiscal year:
Championship CALiber, the exclusive philanthropic giving society focused on providing support to Cal Football
Men’s Basketball Excellence Initiative, launched in May 2023 to give new head coach Mark Madsen the resources needed to build a championship level program
The Golden Way, the Cal Women's Basketball Rewards Initiative dedicated to supporting the program’s operations
Several alumni amplified these efforts in a transformational way. The Shipman Family (Alex '78 & Marie Shipman), whose gift in 2016 named the Cal men’s golf head coach position, now the Alex and Marie Shipman Director of Men’s Golf - further cemented their Cal legacy by committing to endow the Cal Football Offensive Coordinator position through a $10 million estate gift.
Jerry Siebert ('61) made a $1 million gift to the Athletic Director’s Excellence Fund before he passed in December of 2022. A Hall-of-Fame track & field standout and two-time Olympian, Siebert’s generosity will pave the way for future Hall-of-Famers for years to come.
The Rogers family continued their historic support with a $10 million pledge in support of Cal men’s rowing. The family will continue their commitment of annual support of the program both in time and in financial resources. They also have offered a $5 million matching challenge which will provide a 1:1 match for every new gift or pledge to endowments benefiting Cal men’s rowing. The Rogers family’s steadfast generosity has helped propel men’s rowing to back-to-back national championships and they truly embody Cal Crew Forever.
In early 2023, The Witter Rugby Field Enhancement Project was launched to renovate the current facility to provide an improved player and fan experience. The Witter Family ('82 '90 '10) along with Steve ’85 and Karen Ellis, and Doug ’78 and Corrine Cole each supported this project with $1 million lead gifts. The success of this ongoing campaign is due in large part to Bud Lyons '72, California Rugby Advisory Board chairman, who has helped raise $4.4 million towards the project.
In this new era of collegiate athletics, the Cal family supports student-athletes and programs in multiple ways. Cal Athletics would like to acknowledge those who have been incredibly generous to the California Legends Collective this past year, in particular, the recent 72 hour matching challenge that earned more than $1.2 million from over 1,100 donations in less than two business days following the announcement of the ACC. A special thank you goes to Ron '89 and Stephanie '87 Rivera, Kevin '91 and Jeanette '94 Kennedy and Lance Cooper '85 for establishing the challenge.
Cal Athletics remains committed to three bold goals - exceptional student-athlete experiences, team and individual competitive success, and attracting and retaining the best people to serve student-athletes - which have guided Cal Athletics’ priorities and empowered the department to make critical enhancements to the student-athlete experience. To date, Cal Athletics has received more than $330 million in gifts and commitments during the Cal Athletics Campaign for Excellence and looks forward to meeting the collective goal of $350 million in support of Cal student-athletes by December 31, 2023.
The achievements of the past year are a direct result of the Cal family’s generosity and Cal Athletics is incredibly grateful for their unwavering support and commitment to student-athletes.
As Cal prepares to transition to the ACC in 2024, the support and engagement of alumni, fans and supporters will continue to be instrumental in helping Cal add and enhance resources that are critical to competing for conference and national championships.