Securing the Future of Virginia Athletics

A major goal of the University of Virginia athletics department is to endow all 316.6 scholarships allowed by the NCAA for its 13 women’s and 12 men’s sports. An endowment gift is one of the most powerful gifts a donor can make to the athletics program. These gifts provide a lasting source of support for Virginia Athletics. The ability to offer scholarships is an important part of successfully attracting talented student-athletes, which is paramount if we are to continue to compete for championships on a conference and national level. An endowment gift allows the athletics department to address the rising costs of scholarships and provide long-term support for our student-athletes. These gifts allow student-athletes to attend the University of Virginia and compete in the sport they love.

Today, 66 scholarships are endowed. As of Dec. 31, 2016, the VAF scholarship endowment market value was $69 million. At a time when scholarship costs are dramatically escalating, the growth of the Virginia Athletics Foundation endowment is critical if Virginia athletics is to continue its commitment to a broad-based and successful athletics program. To meet this challenge, the goal is to raise $4 million towards scholarship endowments in 2017.

The Virginia Athletics Foundation is able to fund the maximum of 316.6 athletic scholarships allowed by the NCAA each year for the varsity sports sponsored by Virginia, but only a fraction of those are funded by the endowment. The majority of the scholarship funds are raised each year as part of the annual fund. The goal is to endow all of the scholarships in order to rely less on the annual fund. This would allow the annual giving funds to be utilized on other strategic initiatives to benefit student-athletes and improve the overall financial stability of the athletics department.

Thank you to our Endowment and Scholarship level donors:


How Endowments Work

A gift to the scholarship endowment provides the athletics department with a lifetime gift that helps support scholarship costs every year. The Foundation invests endowment gifts with the University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO) for long-term growth. The earnings generated by the investment are used to support scholarship needs in the sport the donor chooses to endow.

On an annual basis, approximately five percent of the endowment value is distributed for scholarship support. In 2015-16, the endowment supported 18.9% of the total scholarship expense, with the remainder being supported by annual giving. An endowment of approximately $360 million is needed (as of Dec. 31, 2016) to fully fund the entire scholarship expense, including the new cost of attendance stipends. Click here and scroll down the page to review the endowment needed to fully fund each sports program.

Each endowed scholarship provides a five percent annual distribution of the market value of the endowment to assist with funding scholarships each year. For example, a $500,000 endowment annually distributes $25,000 to provide funding for an out-of-state scholarship and a $250,000 endowment annually distributes $12,500 to provide funding for an in-state scholarship. As the market value of each endowed scholarship increases through appreciation, the annual distribution will also increase but not to exceed 5% of the market value.

The ultimate goal is to endow all 316.6 scholarships, so we encourage donors to participate with gifts ranging from $50,000 – $500,000, as well as, higher amounts. Click here to learn more about VAF’s focus on increasing the endowment.

Donor Benefits

Naming Rights: The giving levels that provide donors with naming rights for an endowed scholarship are $1,000,000 for a named scholarship endowment, $500,000 for an endowed in-state scholarship or partial out-of-state scholarship and $250,000 for an endowed partial scholarship.

Student-Athlete: Each endowment donor at the $250,000 level and higher is paired with a UVa student-athlete each academic year. Donors receive updates and information from their student-athlete. Student-athletes and their parents are also made aware of their donor’s generosity.

Recognition: Each donor will have their name and the name of the scholarship displayed on a special plaque.

Special Events: Endowment donors are invited to special events that thank them for their generosity and introduce them to their student-athlete.

To learn more about endowment, please click here.

Comparing Endowments

A list of the market value of endowments (as of fall 2015) from several peer schools is below. Virginia’s endowment value is higher than that of NC State, Wake Forest, Pitt, UCLA, and Georgia Tech, but behind Boston College, Duke, North Carolina, and Stanford. Stanford is the national leader in this category with an endowment of more than $400 million.