On the Mark: Growth And Giving
A New Day Indeed!
First, our staff and 450 student-athletes wish the campus and blue and gold community a safe and happy holidays. We are proud to represent you.
I am writing this a short time after the Big West Conference voted in favor of the addition of San Diego State University. Here is the official release. For those of you who have been with the Gauchos and our long affiliation with the Big West (we are a founding member), then you know how far we have come. Conferences expand for two reasons: opportunity or survival. We are definitely in the opportunity mode.
In less than 24 months, we have made three vital moves: switching the conference basketball tournament to the Honda Center, adding the University of Hawai'i and now, San Diego State.
Each move is targeted with elevating our exposure and image regionally and nationally and to provide our student-athletes the best chance of playing in the NCAA Tournament (our ultimate goal for every sport) while also keeping an important eye on travel and budget.
The first key step was moving our flagship men and women's basketball tournament to the Honda Center in Anaheim. In front of the best attendance in 15 years and a national ESPN audience, we proudly defended our men's title earning back-to-back trips to the NCAA dance.
Shortly before the tournament, the University of Hawai'i applied, and received, membership to become the Big West’s 10th member. Both Hawai'i and San Diego State are former conference members (actually, like us, SDSU is a charter member of the Big West) so it's a homecoming for both.
Travel, and its effect on time away from class, is a tough burden on a student-athlete, especially ours who have chosen to compete at one of the nation's top public universities. So as this national craziness of conference expansion in college sports has evolved, we continue to give our 20 sports tough competition all within the footprint of our alumni and donors, while also grabbing more television households. SDSU and Hawai'i have nearly a dozen teams ranked in the Top 50 and four in the Top 10. All of this means better competition and more exposure for the University as well.
Today, I'm excited about UCSB more than ever. I'm in the afterglow of the great crowds at the Thunderdome, including those two epic overtime games. Our gold-wearing Locos and community gave us retro-style energy. The thunder was definitely back.
So here's my pitch: this new Big West is a continued call to keep providing the critical resources and opportunities to compete. It's a new Big West and the Gauchos are in it to win.
In three short years since it's launch, the Gaucho Fund, the giving arm of UCSB Athletics, has provided precious resources, scholarships and support with the help of almost 800 donors assisting us each year, some 60-plus at the Living Scholar level. Because of this level of support, in these still trying economic times, we have not eliminated one student-athlete opportunity or cut one scholarship dollar!
In fact, we have made tremendous strides on the facilities front as well. In addition to the major upgrades we accomplished at Harder Stadium last year for our hosting of the College Cup, in 2012 we will have attacked, and completed, locker room renovations and additional project upgrades in the Thunderdome and baseball's Gaucho Park plaza. All with the help of generous donors and campus partners.
Facilities and people are at the heart of our “Dare to Be Great” theme, which our 20 programs and 450 student-athletes live by.
Invest in their heart and support the Gauchos before
As we close the calendar year, I ask for your continued support to the Gaucho Fund by easily making a tax-deductible gift before 2011 ends. Our development staff of Andy Fee (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Christina Baglas (email@example.com) are here to assist you.
Your support provides resources and opportunities for young people to succeed on the field, in the classroom and in life. Giving is a powerful tool.
Below are reminders on year-end giving:
• In order for a donor to qualify for a charitable income tax deduction for 2011, the gift must be received by UCSB no later than December 31, 2011. Some assets, including securities, personal or real property, require special action to assure timely receipt.
• Checks should be made out to “UC Regents”.
• Gifts by Mail: For income tax purposes, a gift delivered by US Mail is considered to be received on the date of the postmark.
• Gifts by Credit Card: We encourage donating via our secure online site here.
• Gifts of All Types: UCSB Development can assist with gifts of all kinds of assets, including cash, real property and personal property, as well as securities. We can help arrange gifts of all types, current and deferred.
Finally, a reminder that our Living Scholar/Head Coaches annual dinner will be January 25 at Corwin Pavilion on campus. Look for information from Christina and Andy in the near future.
As always, thank you for supporting the Gauchos.
Mark W. Massari
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics