Why? I get asked that question a lot. Why should I donate to Wake Forest? Why should I give more? Why should I recruit my friends to the Deacon Club? To me, the answer to that question lies right outside my window.
There I see BB&T Field, a place where Wake Forest’s student-athletes give it everything they have on Saturdays in the fall. I can see a place where guys like Ricky Proehl, Louis Frazier and Riley Skinner became great players and inspired others. I spot Bob McCreary’s name on the video board because he decided that giving everything he could wasn’t just limited to his playing days. I see student-athletes that were molded by their athletic and educational experiences and attribute their success to their formative years in college.
I can look further and see the Coliseum, an arena that has given me more memories than I can count. It’s a place where Coach Manning is working countless hours recruiting and molding young men to be great; to be champions.
While there are so many great memories at these iconic locations, I know there are still many more to be made. I want our great University to consistently be mentioned as championship contenders in all of our sports. To do this, I understand that we need the resources to recruit the best student-athletes and the support of the local community and alumni.
For the first time in a decade, the Deacon Club has raised its giving levels in seven of its nine membership levels. We do this to achieve our department’s vision of “Developing Champions.” As competition for championships grows, as tuition rises, as the landscape of college athletics evolves to include cost of attendance, we hold the answers to success within our grasp.
The last couple years have shown tremendous support from our Deacon Club members. Twenty-eight percent of those eligible participated in the voluntary giving levels last year and thirty-five percent contributed toward the 110% Campaign and increased their gift, helping generate $7.8 million towards scholarships. We saw 650 new or reinstated members last year, eclipsing our goal by fifty percent.
So how can we continue to “Develop Champions” at Wake Forest? We ask that you support the Deacon Club at our new giving levels and continue to embrace the 110% Campaign to grow our Annual Fund. As we provide more funding for student-athlete scholarships, the Athletic Department is able to direct increased finances toward sport operating budgets and recruiting; by continuing to support the Deacon Club, you are not only funding the education of our student-athletes, but are also providing our coaches with the resources necessary to attract and develop the best student-athletes in the country.
The next step for the Deacon Club and our athletic department is to continue to build and use our referral program to bolster our base. Referring friends to the Deacon Club is simple and achieves many goals. On a personal level it allows you to better connect with fellow friends and Wake Foresters as well as getting others involved in the sports we all love. It also allows the Deacon Club to reach more alumni, parents and recent grads in an effort to keep them involved and push our goals forward.
Increasing your donation, participating in the 110% Campaign and referring friends are vital to the continued success of the Deacon Club and Wake Forest Athletics. When I look out my window, I see a place that gave me so much; a place that can still be so much more. I ask that you join me and the Deacon Club and do all that you can for this wonderful place so that we can make more great memories and prepare our current student-athletes to change the world and make it a better place for others. Pro Humanitate.
(Note: This article was originally published in the October 2015 issue of Gold Rush.)