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Nov. 16, 2002

CHARLOTTESVILLE – The Virginia Student Aid Foundation (VSAF) announced Saturday (Nov. 16) that the organization has changed its name to the Virginia Athletics Foundation and has expanded its mission to include all fund-raising activities for the University of Virginia’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Since 1948, the VSAF, through its contributors, has raised all the grant-in-aid money for Virginia’s student-athletes. While the Foundation will continue to be the sole source of scholarship funds for the department, its role will expand to include providing the resources to support the daily operation of the department and to fund future capital projects.

“This is an exciting time for our organization and the entire athletics department,” said Virginia Athletics Foundation Executive Director Dirk Katstra. “The goal of the Foundation is to make this university’s athletics program one of the most successful and respected in the nation, without compromising Virginia’s academic tradition. We will accomplish this by providing maximum opportunities for our student-athletes and creating an outstanding environment that facilitates their success.”

The Virginia Athletics Foundation, through the generous contributions of over 7,500 donors, has raised in excess of $9.3 million for its 2002 Annual Campaign. The Foundation currently provides scholarship assistance to 439 student-athletes in 25 sports. By the beginning of the 2005-2006 academic year, the Foundation has committed to fully-fund all NCAA allowable athletic scholarships in each sport.

In addition to its annual campaign efforts, the Foundation has raised over $500,000 for its endowment, currently valued at $34 million. In support of capital projects, $4.6 million has been raised for the new state-of-the-art baseball stadium and over $53 million in commitments have been received for the multi-purpose arena facility.

“The University of Virginia has long demonstrated a standard of excellence, and through the support of the Virginia Athletics Foundation, the athletics department continues to be a bearer of that standard,” said Craig Littlepage, Director of Athletics. “It is our vision that the University of Virginia will become a top performing athletics program nationally. We are already on the path to reaching this vision. Ultimately, achieving our vision and goals will require the hard work and commitment of all of our student-athletes, coaches, faculty and staff, supporters, alumni, and friends.”

A member of the highly competitive Atlantic Coast Conference, the University of Virginia fields 25 intercollegiate teams for men and women. Virginia ranked 27th in the nation in the final 2001-2002 Sears Directors’ Cup standings, which rank the overall success of Division I athletic programs in the top 20 sports. Virginia has finished in the Top 30 each year in the eight-year history of the Sears Directors’ Cup program.

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