The Stanford Challenge: Seeking Solutions and Educating Leaders
From the Athletic Director's Desk
Since its establishment more than 100 years ago, Stanford's athletic program has been the natural educational complement to the university's academic mission. Although Stanford's student-athletes represent many cultural and geographical backgrounds and pursue a vast array of studies and disciplines, the one trait all of these bright young individuals share is the drive to succeed in both their academic and their athletic pursuits. That is why they choose Stanford.
This is a place where not only the academic programs, but also the athletic programs, demand and cultivate the pursuit of excellence in all facets of the student-athlete's life. Although we strive to win national championships, our overall goal is to develop our student-athletes into better individuals, to prepare them to serve as leaders in both their peer groups and their communities. Our classroom is the field, the court, the course, and the pool. While teaching student-athletes to reach their physical potential, we are helping them discover their life potential.
During The Stanford Challenge, the athletic department has the opportunity to advance our tradition of excellence. Our ability to reach this goal, however, depends on the support of devoted alumni and friends like you. We hope that you will join us. Together we can help our young student-athletes succeed not only at Stanford, but also in the world beyond.
Robert A. Bowlsby
The Jaquish & Kenninger
Director of Athletics
The Stanford Challenge [top]
In October 2006, Stanford University launched The Stanford Challenge, a bold, comprehensive five-year campaign focused on finding solutions to some of the world's most difficult problems and educating leaders for the future.
The Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation is playing a unique role in this university-wide effort. As the home of more than 800 talented and driven student-athletes each year, the department is charged with providing a comprehensive athletic experience to Stanford's varsity teams. Although much of this education takes place in the weight room, in the pool, and on the track, court, and field, it extends beyond that which typically takes place at such venues. A Stanford student-athlete's education also includes lessons ranging from discipline, respect, and accountability to effective communication and teamwork.
It is not surprising that the skills and values cultivated in Stanford's student-athletes not only help them achieve athletic and academic success, but also prepare them to serve as leaders in both the Stanford community and the world beyond-skills such as conflict resolution and decision making, and values such as uncompromising integrity and excellence.
Alumni and friends have the opportunity to partner with the athletic department in educating leaders. Contributing to Stanford Athletics during The Stanford Challenge-be it investing in the best and brightest, supporting world-class programs, or building for the future-will enable Stanford's coaches and administrators to continue to prepare student-athletes for leadership in the world around them.
Why Stanford Athletics? [top]
Sport has been an integral part of the Stanford experience since the institution's founding in 1891. The Cardinal boasts a strong tradition of excellence-both in individual and team competition-and has earned Pacific-10, Nor Cal, and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships; NCAA and National Championships; and Olympic victories. The program has also earned more U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cups than any other Division I athletic program in the country. At Stanford, uncompromising academic and athletic standards continue to complement each other, and succeeding as a student-athlete continues to facilitate succeeding as a scholar.
Investing in the Best and Brightest [top]
A program of Stanford's caliber attracts talented coaches, many of whom have had or go on to have Olympic or national team coaching experience. As the cost of living in the Bay Area continues to rise, it is increasingly important to offer these coaches competitive compensation packages. Coaching endowments make this possible. Functioning much the same way as endowed professorships do, the payout from these funds is used to help pay the salaries of coaches and program directors. This eases the burden on the athletic department's annual operating budget and ensures the longevity of specific programs by providing coaches' salaries in perpetuity. The ability to offer prospective coaches an endowed position, similar to an endowed academic chair, is a powerful recruiting and retention resource. A coaching endowment is a source of pride and prestige for the coach, and individuals who establish these endowments often develop unique friendships with the recipients and their programs.
Coaches' Housing Fund
Many of Stanford's head and assistant coaches struggle to enter the increasingly expensive Bay Area housing market. Every year the athletic department loses talented coaches who, despite earning competitive salaries, cannot afford to buy homes for their families. In an effort to maintain continuity and excellence in its coaching staff, the athletic department has established a coaches' housing fund. This fund will make possible the purchase and construction of single-family homes, condominiums, and town homes, which will be made available to coaches at affordable prices. By ensuring that its coaches can secure appropriate housing in the Stanford vicinity, the Cardinal will be able to recruit and retain the nation's best.
Supporting World-Class Athletic Programs [top]
The Buck/Cardinal Club
The Buck/Cardinal Club is the annual giving program for Stanford Athletics and has been an invaluable resource for the Stanford athletic department since the club was established in 1934. Originally set up exclusively as a scholarship fund, the Buck/Cardinal Club has broadened its purpose to include programmatic support for student-athletes. With this change, Stanford's varsity sports no longer need to fundraise for their annual operating budgets, as their budgets are partially funded through gifts to the Buck/Cardinal Club.
The Buck/Cardinal Club will continue to prove essential to the long-term success of Stanford's varsity programs during The Stanford Challenge and beyond.
A program endowment is an endowed fund established to meet a specific programmatic need of a varsity sport in perpetuity. Program endowments produce a permanent stream of income for a defined purpose and allow the sports they benefit to rely less on annual budgetary support from the Buck/Cardinal Club and the athletic department. The athletic department aims to establish program endowments for every varsity sport.
The DAPER Investment Fund
In 1982, under the leadership of alumnus Frank Lodato, a group of 33 initial investors created the DAPER Investment Fund with gifts of cash, marketable securities, and real estate partnership interests. The fund quickly grew into an indispensable asset, producing impressive returns as the principal was invested in venture capital, real estate, leveraged buyout, and more traditional opportunities. Today the DAPER Investment Fund provides an invaluable source of unrestricted dollars, supporting both annual projects, such as the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner, and one-time projects, such as Boyd & Jill Smith Family Stadium, the Cobb Track bleachers, Avery Aquatic Center, the Roscoe Maples Pavilion renovation, and, most recently, the new Stanford Stadium.
During The Stanford Challenge, the athletic department seeks to raise new contributions to the DAPER Investment Fund. This new capital will be added to the existing fund and invested in high-return opportunities that have the potential for significant growth. Such growth will allow the department to launch new initiatives, introduce new programs, and fund facilities critical to the success of Stanford Athletics.
Building for the Future [top]
Renovations and New Projects
It takes first-class facilities to produce a first-class athletic program. In the increasingly competitive world of intercollegiate sports, state-of-the-art facilities are necessary for student-athletes to keep their competitive edge. Facilities also play a major role in drawing new talent to a program. Recruiting is significantly more successful when coaches can offer prospective student-athletes first-rate facilities that feature the latest innovations in technology and safety.
The Stanford athletic department has always made facilities a priority in building its programs and planning for the future. In addition to bolstering Stanford's athletic programs, these facilities beautify the campus with their architectural and landscaping design. They are proof that athletic venues can be functional without sacrificing aesthetic appeal.
Stanford boasts some of the finest facilities in college athletics. These impressive venues are as important to practice and competition as they are to the successful recruitment of coaches and student-athletes. Each facility requires regular maintenance to keep it in top shape both structurally and aesthetically, to ensure the safety and enjoyment of its users, and to avoid more costly repairs in the future. Facility maintenance and refurbishment account for a large portion of the athletic department's annual budget. In an effort to defray these expenses, the athletic department aims to establish a facilities endowment, the payout of which will be used to keep its buildings and venues both functional and beautiful for future generations of the Cardinal.
To learn more about these priorities, please contact a member of the athletic development staff. To download the athletic department's case brochure, please click here. To learn more about The Stanford Challenge, please visit thestanfordchallenge.stanford.edu.