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April 12, 2005

CHARLOTTESVILLE – The University of Virginia’s Department of Athletics has given two $25,000 gifts from its share of the MPC Computers Bowl proceeds. One of the $25,000 gifts goes to the Virginia Marching Band endowment and the other to the Faculty Senate to support a graduate student fellowship recognizing excellence in teaching and research.

“I view the Department of Athletics as a partner in helping the University carry out its mission,” said Athletics Director Craig K. Littlepage. “We are colleagues within a bigger University team, and we are pleased to be in a position to support teaching, graduate research and to be able to support students pursuing musical excellence by funding the endowment of the marching band program.”

The gift to the Faculty Senate will support one of its six Dissertation-Year Fellowships and will provide tuition, fees, health insurance and a living stipend to the recipient. This is the third year the Faculty Senate has offered the fellowships. Funding for the other five fellowships comes from the Provost’s Office, the Curry School of Education, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Craig Littlepage’s choice this year to use bowl game proceeds to support a U.Va. graduate student is a powerful demonstration of his department’s commitment to academic excellence,” said Marcia Childress, head of the Faculty Senate. “It also recognized that U.Va.’s high achievements in sports are made more meaningful by the University’s overall high academic standing.”

The other $25,000 gift goes to the Cavalier Marching Band Endowment. The band, created through a $1.5 million gift by longtime benefactors Carl and Hunter Smith to support a student marching and concert band, made its debut at the Sept. 11, 2004 home football game against North Carolina.

“The Music Department is grateful for the outstanding level of support formusical performance offered by the athletics department,” said Elizabeth Hudson, chairwoman of the McIntire Department of Music. “We are particularly pleased to have the opportunity to build the marching band endowment, as the growth of the endowment is crucial for the long-term success of this exciting new endeavor.”

Athletics received $1.1 million in the most recent bowl expense allowance from the Atlantic Coast Conference, said Keith VanDerbeek, associate athletics director for business operations. Since the Cavalier football team’s first postseason appearance in the 1984 Peach Bowl, Athletics has donated more than $880,000 toward academic projects. Among the causes bowl revenues have supported are computer purchases, the University’s Eminent Scholars endowment, a newspaper database for the University Library, endowment of the Cavaliers Distinguished Teaching Professorship, a telephone course-registration system and a music festival in the fall of 2004.

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