NEW YORK - Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, Columbia Athletics has established the $250,000 Class of 1981 Columbia Football Endowment in honor of Robert F. "Bob" Conroy '81CC, William P. "Bill" Donley '81SEAS, and Richard M. "Rich" Ruzika '81CC.
The endowment will support strategic initiatives for Columbia Football including academic enrichment, career services, personal development, athletic skills and training, as well as other priorities identified by head football coach Pete Mangurian. The 2012 season marked Mangurian's first at the helm of Columbia Football, highlighted by four All-Ivy League selections.
"This football program is really about people," said Mangurian. "The quality of people we bring into the football program, our record, and the quality of the people who come out of our program, in that order, will determine our success. I expect our football players to excel in every area- academically, athletically, and personally.
The Class of 1981 Columbia Football Endowment helps provide the resources we need to create an environment that will develop each member of our team in all dimensions," he continued. "We are committed to the long-range career development and success of each of our players, and to winning. We will not compromise in any area."
"We are so thankful to our anonymous donor for making the Class of 1981 Columbia Football Endowment possible," said M. Dianne Murphy, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education. "It is because of donors like this we are able to provide Columbia Football with the resources they need to be successful. We are greatly appreciative and we are so proud that this football endowment honors Bob, Bill and Rich in this way."
Looking ahead, Columbia Athletics will seek to grow the Class of 1981 Columbia Football Endowment through gifts from other Football alumni, friends and fans.
The endowment is part of the $100 million Columbia Campaign for Athletics: Achieving Excellence, the largest fundraising initiative in the history of Columbia Athletics, which was launched in October 2007. Through The Columbia Campaign for Athletics: Achieving Excellence, the University is transforming the experience of more than 700 student-athletes by upgrading and constructing new facilities, launching new student-athlete programming, and providing increased funds for operations. Varsity sports program endowments, like the Class of 1981 Columbia Football Endowment, help ensure ongoing financial support for varsity sports programs in perpetuity.
The linchpin of The Columbia Campaign for Athletics is the newly-constructed Campbell Sports Center at the Baker Athletics Complex, dedicated at Homecoming on October 20, 2012. To date, Columbia has raised $80 million toward the overall goal of raising $100 million.