The Sacred Heart University Department of Athletics is proud to announce that the Pioneer Club had its third consecutive record setting year in support of SHU Athletics. The Pioneer Club raised a record $4.05 million during the 2015-16 fiscal year, from over 2,000 donors.
"It is an exciting time for Sacred Heart University Athletics and on behalf of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, I would like to thank our loyal alumni, parents, and friends for their generous support throughout the year," said Executive Director of Athletics, Bobby Valentine. "Without your support, we would not have the necessary resources to compete at the highest level and our mission to provide a great student-athlete experience would not be possible."
Over the past three years, Valentine and Nicholas Wormley, Executive Director of University Advancement, have spearheaded a 527% increase in donations to the Pioneer Club; from $646,000 in fiscal year 2014 to the $4.05M raised this year. Equally as impressive, in the same time frame, the support of current student-athletes has also skyrocketed due to the Forever Pioneer program. Led by a group of SHU students, the Forever Pioneers program works to promote student-based philanthropic initiatives across campus and has increased student-athlete support – from 6% three years ago to 84 % this past year.
"The culture of philanthropy is strong at Sacred Heart University and is a direct result of the rewarding experiences that our coaches and administrators provide our student-athletes," said Wormley. "This is shown by the percentage of student-athletes and number of donors that support SHU Athletics, and we are grateful for their loyalty to the Pioneers."
All contributions to the Pioneer Club are used towards athletic scholarships, capital improvements, and operating expenses such as team travel and recruiting. The condition and reputation of its athletic facilities is a top priority for SHU Athletics and vital to recruiting top student-athletes in the competitive Northeast Region.
The Pioneer Club raised $3M towards facility enhancements and saw upgrades to Campus Field including a new turf, track, and scoreboard. The multi-purpose field is home to the Pioneer football, men's and women's lacrosse, and men's and women's track and field programs. The Pioneer Club has also helped fund the construction of a new playing surface for men's and women's soccer and rugby programs, and enabled the field hockey to play at one of the top facilities in the state. SHU Athletics also built a brand new Academic Services and Student Development Center inside the William H. Pitt Center.
The Pioneer Club provides critical funding and directly supports the needs of SHU Athletics and its 945 student-athletes. For more information or to make a gift today, please contact the Pioneer Club at 203-396-8108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.