Giving to URI Athletics Continues to Flourish

Aug. 28, 2009

KINGSTON, R.I. -- Philanthropic giving to URI Athletics continues to remain strong.

During this past fiscal year 2009 (July 1, 2008 - June 30, 2009) URI Athletics received over $1.5 million in total philanthropic support. This includes more than $713,000 in gifts to operational funds, a two-percent increase from last fiscal year and the most ever received in this category.

"For the second consecutive year, we have raised the bar in terms of athletics fundraising," said Thorr Bjorn, URI's director of athletics. "It is a tribute to our coaches, student-athletes, staff and fans. During the worst economic climate in decades, Rhody supporters have stepped up to show their tremendous passion for their University and its athletics program."

"We are pleased with our growth, however we cannot sit back and be satisfied, "added Bjorn. "External support is going to be the greatest factor in our ability to provide championship caliber programs."

The 2009 fiscal year also saw a dramatic increase in giving to the football and men's basketball programs. Gifts to football have increased more than 300% in the last two years, while gifts to men's basketball have grown by more than 100% in that same time.

"This past year we unveiled the 100 Yard Society and the Ernie Calverley Society to thank and recognize our most generous donors to URI Football and Men's Basketball," explained Kevin McGinniss, Associate Director of Athletics for Development. "We have asked people to consider an annual gift of $1,000 or more, gifts that have the most significant impact on our programs, and be recognized in these exclusive societies. In addition to increasing the revenue for these programs, we have increased the number of individual donors as well."

For more information regarding the 100 Yard Society, Ernie Calverley Society, or support for URI Athletics, please contact the Office of Athletics Advancement at (401) 874-7536 or