Ahearn Fund Gifts Reach New Record Levels

MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State fans, alumni and friends stepped up again in support of Wildcat student-athletes by setting a new record for total gifts to the department for the fifth straight year as well as catapulting Ahearn Fund membership to unprecedented numbers, Senior Associate Athletics Director Chad Weiberg announced today.


Thanks to grass-roots support of Ahearn Fund members world-wide, a record $46.4 million was contributed to K-State Athletics in 2013-14, reflecting a jump of 21 percent from the previous year’s total of $36.8 million, while the number of K-Staters participating surpassed the 10,000 mark for the first time in department history to an all-time high of 10,156 members. In just five years, outright contributions to the department have totaled $143 million, while the $46.4 million amount this year is nearly quadruple the amount raised in 2009 ($12.7 million).

“K-Staters from across the country continue to demonstrate their tremendous loyalty and amazing generosity in support of our student-athletes and coaches,” Weiberg, the 2014 NAADD National Fundraiser of the Year, said. “I believe there is a true understanding among K-Staters that every Ahearn Fund member and every contribution, regardless of the amount, is very important to the continued success of K-State Athletics.  All of the coaches, student-athletes and staff are extremely grateful for each and every member for their support.”
 
Gifts to the Ahearn Fund, which start at $50, are designated for scholarships, sports medicine, academic support, modernization of facilities and other services that directly benefit K-State student-athletes while also funding K-State’s margin of excellence through enhancements such as recruiting budgets and coaches salaries. The Ahearn Fund now boasts members from 49 states.

Over the past five years, K-State Athletics donors have stepped up with 21 private gifts in excess of $1 million, including the largest individual donation in university history this past year, enabling the department to complete the new $18 million Basketball Training Facility, Intercollegiate Rowing Center, Mike Goss Tennis Stadium and build momentum towards the department's comprehensive facility improvement benefitting all 450 Wildcat student-athletes. On August 30, 2013, doors to the West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Stadium, a transformational project and a facility that is an essential step in advancing K-State's competitive future, were officially opened, while plans were unveiled this spring for Phase III of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan – the Vanier Football Complex and North Stadium Project.

"We are grateful for the continued participation of all Ahearn Fund members,” Athletics Director John Currie said. “The grass-roots support through the Ahearn Fund and ticket purchases by our fans continue to be our largest source of revenue and remain critical in providing our student-athletes with a world-class experience.”
 
For more information on the Ahearn Fund visit www.k-statesports.com or www.AhearnFund.com. For a personal visit with a member of the Ahearn Fund staff, please call (888) 232-9074.
 
K-State had another banner year both on the playing field and in the classroom. The 2013-14 season saw hall of fame head coach Bill Snyder’s football squad record one of the best in-season turnarounds in college football history en route to a Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl win over Michigan. After starting 2-4 on the season, the Wildcats closed the year with a 6-1 mark to become just the eighth program in NCAA history out of 630 teams to start a season 2-4 and finish with eight wins.

Bruce Weber’s men’s basketball squad reached 20 wins for the eighth straight season and recorded its fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Other highlights included nine Big 12 track and field individual championships en route to Top 20 national finishes by both programs, a Big 12 runner-up finish for the rowing squad capping its greatest season in program history and the end of a career for arguably the best women’s tennis player in school history as Petra Niedermayerova advanced to her fourth straight NCAA Championships in singles play, became the school’s all-time wins leader in both singles and doubles while also being named a First Team Academic All-American and the Big 12 Tennis Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Academically, the Wildcats saw 78 student-athletes graduate in the 2013-14 academic year, while a total of eight student-athletes were Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award winners, which were the second most among all Big 12 schools.

K-State also placed 517 student-athletes on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Rolls, including 260 honorees on the Fall 2013 listing which were the most since 2008. K-State also saw 101 student-athletes earn Academic All-Big 12 recognition this year, while all Wildcat programs are also well above the recently increased NCAA .930 APR standard including five teams that lead the Big 12 with their multi-year rate (football, men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s cross country).