March 3, 2004
March 1, 2004
Surpassing its goal by $4.3 million, the University of Tennessee Athletic Department announced Monday the completion of "STEP UP - The Campaign for UT Athletic Facilities."
The campaign, which began in December 2000, raised a record $48.61 million, racing past its original $44.25-million goal. Campaign funds helped renovate, expand and construct eight athletic facilities, and ensure every men's and women's athletic program has the resources necessary to compete for championships.
"I am excited, but not surprised, that the first-ever athletics capital campaign and first joint fundraising effort between the men's and women's athletics departments was such an overwhelming success," said Dr. Joe Johnson, the university's interim president. "The alumni and friends of the University of Tennessee appreciate and support athletics with a great amount of passion."
Athletic department leaders were equally pleased.
"These donors stepped forward to ensure a bright future for all 20 men's and women's sports at UT," said Mike Hamilton, director of men's athletics. "I want to thank these donors for their commitment to the athletic department."
"More than 870 people contributed to the success of the STEP UP campaign," said Joan Cronan, director of women's athletics. "This campaign is a reflection of our commitment to give all of our student-athletes, male and female, the resources to represent our great university to the best of their abilities."
|"These donors stepped forward to ensure a bright future for all 20 men's and women's sports at UT. I want to thank these donors for their commitment to the athletic department."|
UT Men's Athletic Director
Leading the STEP UP campaign was an executive committee that included campaign chair John Thornton, Charlie Anderson, Vicky Fulmer, Jim Haslam, Bill Johnson, Brenda McKenzie, Jim Ogle and Susan and Dick Williams. Twenty million dollars of the campaign total are being generated over a five-year period through the ticket price increase in football and men's and women's basketball announced in April 2001.
"The athletics department is indebted to the campaign executive committee that provided countless hours of service and leadership," said John Currie, associate athletic director for development and the campaign director.
The STEP UP campaign included nearly $5.5 million in commitments from more than 130 former UT student-athletes.
"We are committed to building these quality facilities while also providing the other resources that each program needs to compete for championships," Hamilton said. "By going over the campaign goal, these donors have relieved our annual operating budget of the burden of covering these construction costs. We are grateful for their support."
The athletic department will continue generating resources for athletic facility improvements, including finalizing the funding for the eight facilities in STEP UP.
The University of Tennessee Athletics Department is among a select few nationwide
that does not receive funds from the university, state subsidies or tax revenues.