The holiday season brings with it a spirit of community and charity.
Northwestern State athletics donors long have lived those values, never more so than in the past month. Because of their largesse, the Demons Unlimited Foundation hit a milestone earlier this week, surpassing $2 million in endowed scholarships for NSU student-athletes.
A record round of donations on Giving Tuesday earlier this month helped the DUF pass its most recent fundraising goal while year-end giving officially pushed the total past the $2 million mark Wednesday.
“Our donors really answered the call this season, first with Giving Tuesday and now with scholarship donations, which have pushed us over our initial $2 million total endowment goal,” said Dr. Haley Taitano, NSU Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs. “They were quick to go beyond their normal donations to their respective scholarships after our latest appeal, and their thrilling response helped us surpass a goal we were approximately $15,000 away from less than one month ago.”
The Perpetually Purple Endowment Program provided the DUF with a roadmap to the $2 million endowment goal, a level that again will increase with the donations that pushed the total past the $2 million landmark.
Annual gifts and fundraising events for NSU Athletics are imperative, but development of the Perpetually Purple program is equally important. Revenue generated from endowed gifts and scholarships improves the NSU athletic program and Northwestern State coaches, staff and student-athletes benefit yearly from the athletic endowment.
Currently there are 60 permanently endowed (more than $10,000) athletic scholarships for Northwestern State athletics and another 21 working toward full endowment.
“The ‘Perpetually Purple’ program has come a long way from the first endowed athletic scholarship that was established in 1991 to now surpassing the $2 million mark in 2019. In part because of the generosity of many benefactors, NSU coaches continue to offer the maximum number of scholarships permitted under NCAA guidelines even though the Athletic Department’s scholarship budget has increased by nearly $2 million over the past decade,” said NSU Director of Athletics Greg Burke.
While reaching the $2 million goal made for a fitting Christmas gift for the DUF, it also reset the bar.
“The long-term goal is $5 million, so this is a major milestone to keep us headed in that direction,” Taitano said. “We are so appreciative of each and every donor who truly exhibits that they are ‘Perpetually Purple.’”