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Charlottesville, VA – The University of Virginia’s Department of Athletics is donating $50,000 from its share of the Chick-fil-A Bowl football game proceeds to the University’s AccessUVa financial aid program. The department also announced head football coach Mike London will personally match the gift, bringing the total donation to AccessUVa to $100,000.

“I appreciate the University of Virginia’s commitment to provide an outstanding undergraduate education regardless of a student’s financial situation,” London said. “The football program is here to foster the University’s educational mission. I often talk about the importance of ‘student’ first in ‘student-athlete’ and AccessUVa does a lot to assist a large number of our undergraduate students. I am proud to be able to assist such an important program.”

“We are very grateful to Coach Mike London for his matching gift to support AccessUVa,” said University President Teresa Sullivan. “Coach London has demonstrated tremendous leadership in guiding our football team through a successful season this year, and now he is showing leadership in creating opportunities for students who might not otherwise be able to come to UVa for their college education. All of us are inspired by Coach London’s commitment and leadership, both on and off the field.”

AccessUVa is the University of Virginia’s financial aid program designed to keep higher education affordable for all admitted students, regardless of economic circumstance. Because access for every academically eligible student is a priority at the University of Virginia, the University has made an annual commitment of $40.4 million in need-based grants to undergraduates. AccessUVa offers loan-free packages for low-income students, caps on need-based loans for all other students, and a commitment to meet 100 percent of demonstrated need for every student. The program not only keeps a UVa education affordable for the lowest income students, but also addresses the concerns of middle-income families who are squeezed by the rising cost of tuition. By limiting debt – or eliminating it altogether, in the case of students with the most need – AccessUVa offers assurances to prospective students that if they make the grade, they can afford to attend the University.

“The football team’s participation in this year’s Chick-fil-A Bowl allows the athletics department to show our appreciation to the University community that has been very good to us,” said Craig Littlepage, Virginia’s Director of Athletics. “We’re pleased this gift will be used to support students’ financial needs while attending the University of Virginia. Coach London’s matching gift to the University demonstrates his leadership, his love and concern for students, and his community spirit. I can’t think of a better way to show our appreciation for the support provided by the University, particularly when these gifts will support our talented students.”

UVa’s athletics department has donated more than $1 million toward academic projects through proceeds generated from its participation in postseason football bowl games. 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 graduate student fellowship to support excellence in teaching and research, a telephone course-registration system (ISIS), a music festival and the Cavalier Marching Band endowment.

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