Ahearn Fund Giving Reaches New Heights

AD John Currie

July 20, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. – On the heels of one of the most successful athletic and academic years in school history, Kansas State fans, alumni and friends stepped up again in financial support of Wildcat student-athletes, surpassing the annual Ahearn Fund goal by more than $1 million while setting a new record for total gifts to the department, Athletics Director John Currie announced today.

Thanks to grass-roots support of K-State fans world-wide, Ahearn Fund membership grew by 14.5 percent to an all-time high of 7,027, while total athletics gifts (not including pledges) reached $17.7 million, a 5 percent increase over the previous record established during FY 2010.

“Our fans and donors continue to show why they are among the best in college athletics,” Associate Athletics Director Chad Weiberg said. “Their support of our 465 student-athletes, coupled with the momentum and success our teams provided us this past season, was a winning combination for K-State and we appreciate each and every Ahearn Fund member for their contribution. We maintain that we still have improvements and strides to make but continue to be excited about the future.”

K-State also saw record numbers contributed from its capital supporters, which included seven individuals who made individual gifts in excess of $1 million since Fall 2009. These gifts enabled the department to break ground on the new $18 million Basketball Training Facility and build more momentum towards its new facility strategic goals designed to provide comprehensive improvements for all Wildcat student-athletes and fans.

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.

For example, K-State recently purchased and took delivery of a state-of-the-art fluoroscope x-ray machine that will allow the medical and training staffs to provide better and faster diagnoses of potential injuries by taking and projecting continuous x-ray images on a monitor, all on site in our training room. So, Wildcat fans have directly enabled all Wildcat student-athletes to receive even better and timely care from the medical and training staffs.

"Grass-roots support through the Ahearn Fund continues to be our largest single source of revenue at K-State and critical to our ability of providing our student-athletes with a world-class experience,” Currie added. “We greatly appreciate the support and participation of all of our Ahearn Fund members. I also want to commend our entire Ahearn Fund staff for their hard work in reaching out to our fans and being accessible as we move forward in achieving our goals.”

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 (785) 532-7715.

In 2010-11, Kansas State arguably put together one of the best seasons in school history both on the field and in the classroom.

The Wildcats competed as a team or sent student-athletes to nine postseason events, while K-State was one of just three schools in the nation last season to have its football team in a bowl game, both basketball teams in the NCAA Tournament, its baseball team in an NCAA Regional and both track and field teams in the Top 20.

The year also included a national runner-up effort by the Western squad of the equestrian team at the VENC, a student-athlete in the NCAA women’s tennis singles championships and a Top 25 finish and NCAA Championship appearance by the women’s cross country team.

K-State student-athletes continued to display their strong efforts in the classroom, as the Wildcats for the fourth straight season led the Big 12 in graduation rate, while also placing 102 student-athletes on Academic All-Big 12 teams.