Former Student-Athletes Pay It Forward


On April 27, the Deacon Club launched its first-ever Former Student-Athlete Giving Challenge. This initiative stemmed from the idea of wanting to further engage our student-athlete alumni, all while creating a fun competition for them, as well as the coaches, to partake in.

Through this challenge, each sport was competing in three separate categories, each of which was worth $10,000 towards the winning team’s 2017-18 budget. The categories consisted of highest participation rate, highest increase in participation rate and highest increase in dollars raised.

As soon as the Former Student-Athlete Challenge kicked off, the competitive nature of our athletic alumni and coaches came out in full force, which made the challenge even more exciting.

Over the course of this month-long competition, it was enthralling to watch the standings fluctuate as the coaches and former student-athletes rallied their teams in an effort to come out victorious. Witnessing these two groups engage with one another, all with the common goal of paying it forward to support current Wake Forest student-athletes, was truly incredible.

After a lot of movement and numerous lead changes among the sports, women’s soccer ended up sweeping all three challenges! By winning each of the three categories, $30,000 will be added to the 2017-18 women’s soccer budget, which will have a huge impact on the program.

Head women’s soccer coach, Tony da Luz, shared, “We look forward to using these funds to upgrade our travel on a critical road trip to Michigan this fall, as well as upgrade our video capability and equipment.”

Knowing how big of a role the women’s soccer alumni played in the victory, Coach da Luz also expressed his gratitude, stating, “It warms my heart to know that our alums care enough about the program to give back. They are a perfect example of our ‘Deacs4Life’ motto. All I can say is thank you to each and every one of them, and we can’t wait for next year’s competition.”

Through this campaign we saw 924 former student-athletes make a gift, which is a 33% increase over last year. I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the student-athletes who made a gift, and to all of the coaches who were committed to helping their teams win. It is through efforts like this that we are able to continue supporting current and future student-athletes to the best extent possible.

In addition, by giving back and supporting future generations of Wake Forest student-athletes, our alumni also help in invest in the value of their own degree through increased giving rates, which ultimately impact University rankings in publications like U.S. News & World Report.

Again, congratulations to women’s soccer! I hope you all enjoyed following along as much as I did, and I look forward to what next year’s competition will bring. To see the final standings, please click here.

If you would like to get your group involved in a competition or initiative to help support the Deacon Club and our deserving student-athletes, let us know by calling 336.758.5626 or emailing!

Go Deacs!