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Aug. 22, 2001

CHARLOTTESVILLE – University of Virginia Athletics Director Craig Littlepage announced today that women’s golf will become the 25th intercollegiate sport at UVa and that the team will begin competing during the 2003-04 academic year.

“To a great extent, women’s golf at the University of Virginia is possible as a result of the generosity of William C. Eacho, Jr., whose gift of $1.4 million helped create an endowment for funding women’s golf scholarships,” Littlepage said. “Mr. Eacho has been a generous donor to Virginia athletics for 50 years and has had an interest in a women’s golf program at the University for a long time. His generosity has spurred other gifts to the endowment, ensuring our ability to compete for the finest student-athletes in the country in women’s golf.”

Eacho (pronounced Eeko) is a 1945 graduate of UVa. He and his wife, Linda, reside in Bethesda, Md.

“Members of our staff are developing a timeline for important decisions to be made regarding staffing, recruiting, scheduling and other administrative matters,” Littlepage said. “We are tremendously excited about the addition of women’s golf to our intercollegiate program.”

With the addition of women’s golf, Virginia will have 13 intercollegiate sports for women and 12 for men. Golf is one of UVa’s 12 men’s sports.

“Women’s golf is a sport at many Division I institutions in our region,” Littlepage said. “In particular, six Atlantic Coast Conference schools currently sponsor women’s golf teams. With the academic tradition of the University and an excellent facility like Birdwood Golf Course, women’s golf is a very natural fit for UVa.”

The last sport to gain varsity status at UVa was women’s rowing. The women’s rowing team was elevated from club to varsity status for the 1995-96 academic year. Virginia has won the first two Atlantic Coast Conference women’s rowing championships (2000 and 2001) and has finished in the top seven at each of the five NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships.

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