October 10, 2016
The popular NCAA commercial that states, "There are over 400,000 NCAA student-athletes and just about all of us will be going pro in something other than sports" is a snapshot of the uplifting yet bittersweet truth. Most student-athletes at Mary Washington have just four years to compete for NCAA Championships before the biggest game day on their schedule: graduation. And while those four years often seem to come and go in a blink of an eye, the student-athlete experience instills character traits and values which last a lifetime.
It is for that very reason Mary Washington student-athletes took on the Ten for Ten Challenge this fall, a peer led effort to secure donations of $10 from UMW's student-athletes, in hopes of teams achieving 100% participation by October 10. The goal of the new initiative was to educate current Eagles on the power of philanthropic giving, honor the many transformative Eagle Club gifts in recent years, and build on a foundation of generosity so that future Eagles will also have a life-changing experience at Mary Washington.
As one of the first student-athletes to go Ten for Ten, junior basketball player Kendall Parker stated, "[Eagle Club] donations, small or large, make a great impact on every student-athlete's life whether they realize it or not. It is important that my teammates donate as well because if it weren't for the Eagle Club [members], we would not have all of the resources that we use on a daily basis. Donations play a huge role in our process of winning a CAC Championship and beyond."
Parker's call to her peers was heard and, for the first time ever, more than half of the student-athlete population – 277 to be exact – made gifts to support their programs. Eleven teams had 100% Ten for Ten giving participation, and 20 out of 22 varsity sport programs participated in all. In addition, two of the four team sport programs also participated.
"I'm really proud of our student-athletes for rising up and showing tremendous leadership with the Ten for Ten Challenge," said Ken Tyler, Director of Athletics. "They have demonstrated their commitment to UMW Athletics and have helped sustain a legacy of excellence. Now, I'm excited to watch our alumni, families, and friends help the Eagles soar even higher!"
UMW's student-athletes are now challenging alumni and friends to follow their lead!