Athletically gifted

Band, graduate research benefit from bowl proceeds.

By Jane Ford
The Cavalier Marching Band.

The Cavalier Marching Band.
Photo by Andrew Shurtleff.

The Department of Athletics has given $50,000 from its share of the football MPC Computers Bowl proceeds to two University initiatives. It has given $25,000 to the Virginia Marching Band endowment and $25,000 to the Faculty Senate to support a graduate student fellowship recognizing excellence in teaching and research.

“I view the Department of Athletics as a partner in helping the University carry out its mission,” Director of Athletics Craig K. Littlepage said.

“We are colleagues within a bigger University team, and we are pleased to be in a position to support teaching, graduate research and to be able to support students pursuing musical excellence by funding the endowment of the marching band program,” he added.

Katherine Pierce, a graduate student in the history department, was selected to receive the gift to the Faculty Senate. She is one of six Dissertation-Year Fellowship recipients who will receive tuition, fees, health insurance and a living stipend. This is the third year the Faculty Senate has offered the fellowships. Funding for the other five fellowships comes from the Provost’s Office, the Curry School of Education, and the College of Arts & Sciences.

“Craig Littlepage’s choice this year to use bowl game proceeds to support a U.Va. graduate student is a powerful demonstration of his department’s commitment to academic excellence,” said Marcia Childress, head of the Faculty Senate. “It also recognized that U.Va.’s high achievements in sports are made more meaningful by the University’s overall high academic standing.”

The other $25,000 gift goes to the Cavalier Marching Band endowment. The band, created through a $1.5 million gift by longtime benefactors Carl and Hunter Smith to support a student marching and concert band, made its debut at the Sept. 11, 2004, home football game.

“The Music Department is grateful for the outstanding level of support for musical performance offered by the athletics department,” said Elizabeth Hudson, chair of the McIntire Department of Music. “We are particularly pleased to have the opportunity to build the marching band endowment, as the growth of the endowment is crucial for the long-term success of this exciting new endeavor.”

Athletics received $1.1 million in bowl expense allowance from the Atlantic Coast Conference for the most recent bowl game, said Keith VanDerbeek, associate athletics director for business operations. Since the Cavalier football team’s first postseason appearance in the 1984 Peach Bowl, Athletics has donated more than $880,000 toward academic projects. Among the causes bowl revenues have supported are computer purchases, the University’s Eminent Scholars endowment, a newspaper database for the University Library, endowment of the Cavaliers Distinguished Teaching Professorship, a telephone course-registration system (ISIS) and a music festival in fall 2004.

This article originally appeared in the April 15-May 5 , 2005 edition of Inside UVA.