Donations to Texas Tech University have spiked.
"We had a record year membership wise, we had a record year of financial contributions, for the first time ever we went over our scholarship fund goal as far as supporting all of our scholarship with annual cash donation," said Amy Heard, Associate Athletics Director and Executive Director of the Red Raider Club. "For the first time in a long time we have head coaches coming back and leading our institution, leading our teams that received scholarship fund dollars."
The Red Raider Club raised over $5.3 million, up $700,000 from last year. It's an increase of 15%, the single largest growth between fiscal years in the history of the Red Raider Club. All of that money will go directly to the student athlete experience. Heard believes the fact that people can see the benefits of their donating is a large reason for the increase.
"You've committed this money to our football coaches, a lot of them years ago, to coach Whitaker, to coach Tadlock, all recipients of scholarship dollars. So, it really cements what that money ultimately does," she said.
The alumni association has also seen an increase in people wanting to give.
"Just the excitement behind it and the pride, that's what makes it great to come to work every day just to see that pride," said Director of Membership for the alumni association Traci Odom. "We have a new campaign on the campus I am a Red Raider, everyday Raider and I think it really binds us together. It's really a great time to be here at Tech."
Odom believes one of the main barometers for excitement is the Billion Dollar Campaign which achieved its goal in February 2013. It was officially announced in 2010.
Preliminary numbers indicate approximately $145 million is being invested in students by creating scholarships with more than $70 million is being invested in faculty by establishing endowments. More than $470 million is being invested in academic programs, innovative research, and university initiatives.
Additionally, nearly $315 million is being invested in campus development through the construction of spaces where students and faculty can learn, discover, and compete.
Approximately 20 buildings were built, renovated or are currently under construction thanks to the campaign, and four academic programs have been named in honor of significant contributions. More than 120,000 people donated towards the goal, even when the economy was suffering.
"That money was raised through all kinds of uncertain economic times and we just have huge supporters and no matter what, they want to support Tech, the students, recruiting, scholarships, new programs and new buildings," said Odom. "It's a real sense of pride and I think from the $10 donors to the millions and millions of dollar donors everyone's important and they all play a part in this great school."
Odom says other contributing factors are the fact that Tech is a National Research Institution as well as Kliff Kingsbury and other new coaches that have excited the fan base. She says the excitement is back among fans and students and she expects it to continue.
She said, "It's a great time to be a Red Raider."
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