BAKERSFIELD, Calif.- CSUB Athletics fundraising has exceeded $2 million for the second-straight year including new records for the Roadrunner Scholarship Fund following the conclusion of a successful fund drive and conclusion of the 2015-16 fiscal year.
The Roadrunner Scholarship Fund raised an all-time high of $760,000, up from $703,000 a year ago while total fundraising which includes grants, sports-specific gifts, scholarship fund and special events totaled $2.3 million, a $200,000 increase from 2014-15.
Director of athletics Kenneth “Ziggy” Siegfried says the tremendous work by the Roadrunner Scholarship Fund board of directors, under the leadership of president Coby Vance was instrumental in garnering public support for these latest record totals.
“Our fundraising success over the past four years can be directly correlated with the overall success we are having as a department,” Siegfried said. “We have increased our Roadrunner Scholarship Fund giving from $348,000 to now $760,000 in the last four years thanks to the Roadrunner Scholarship Fund board. I want to thank and congratulate our board on another record breaking year!”
Vance says the new record this year is a testament to the continued dedication of the board and athletics staff.
“I am so proud of our volunteer board who take the time out of their busy schedules to be stewards for our CSUB student-athletes and to speak with their family, friends, colleagues and clients about the impact these scholarship dollars have on the lives of our young men and women,” Vance said. “The more success our athletic programs achieve, the easier it is for the board to do its job of raising money. People want to be associated with winners and I know we have the right people in place at CSUB to continue that tradition of winning championships and providing top-quality education to our student-athletes.”
Following a 2015-16 season that included a pair of Western Athletic Conference championships as well as five wrestlers competing in the NCAA Championships, Siegfried says the community rallied behind the Roadrunners, especially following an NCAA Tournament run for the men’s basketball team which brought unprecedented exposure to the program.
“I want to thank our generous supporters for making an investment into the lives of our student-athletes and for believing in the vision of the athletics department. With your support, we will continue our upward trajectory in the areas of academic excellence, providing a positive student-athlete experience, pursuing competitive success, and engaging the Bakersfield community,” Siegfried said.
Along with the competitive success, the Roadrunners reached new heights academically as well, posting an all-time high 3.06 cumulative GPA among active student-athletes. Graduation rates also continued to increase while all teams maintained NCAA Academic Progress Rates well above the mandated 930 scores while six teams posted a perfect 1000 score.
The individual efforts of student-athletes were also impressive in ’15-’16 with 107 being named to academic all-conference teams. 94 were Academic All-Western Athletic Conference, seven water polo student-athletes were honored from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation along with four wrestlers from the Pac-12. Pac-12 academic honors also included Ian Nickell who was named the ‘Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year’ while also being honored as a CoSIDA Academic All-American.
The new totals for the RSF will help fund student-athlete scholarships at a higher competitive level for the Roadrunners as they continue to pursue conference championships and compete on the NCAA national championship level. This is the fourth straight year in which the scholarship fund has set a record while also significantly increasing the number of donors in the process.
With the ’15-’16 season completed, the vision is now being set for ’16-’17 and the fundraising goals ahead as the Roadrunners continue their quest to fully-fund student-athlete scholarships at the maximum NCAA levels in all sports.