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The Duquesne athletic department announced Tuesday the establishment of the Fund for Basketball Excellent, a campaign to which 10 donors have already committed a total of $1 million over the next five years.
"There is a difference between success and excellence," athletic director Greg Amodio said. "Succeeding is to attain a desired result once; excellence requires sustaining and building on success. These funds will help our basketball programs to achieve real excellence."
Here is the rest of the media release:
The University administration has made significant recent investments in its men's and women's basketball programs and facilities. Annual operating budgets have more than doubled, and capital improvements have included renovations to administrative offices, recruiting spaces, strength and conditioning rooms and the basketball practice facility. The Palumbo Center main arena has received new chair-back seating, a center-hung video scoreboard, and a new floor and goals.
Additional major enhancements have been donor-funded, including new men's and women's locker rooms and lounges in the Janice and James Schaming Athletic Center, the Keller Family Athletic Training Room and the James Christopher Rocco Basketball Theater.
"All of these investments put us in a position to succeed, but we need to keep building toward excellence," said head men's basketball coach Jim Ferry. "These 10 generous donors will allow us to do exactly that. Our players recognize and appreciate their contributions to the program."
The Fund for Basketball Excellence will provide immediate annual operating support for the men's and women's programs, including such items as travel, academic and administrative assistance, promotions and marketing (including enhanced television exposure) and additional facilities and equipment. Development efforts began in spring 2013 with a goal of securing 10 benefactors by Dec. 31.
"The overwhelming response allowed us to reach our goal sooner than expected, and speaks volumes about the growing support and excitement for Duquesne basketball," Amodio said. "At the same time, we remain committed to continued growth, and look forward to engaging more individuals who share our vision of taking the fund--and our programs--to the next level."
The first 10 donors to the Fund include three anonymous benefactors and:
Arnold E. Burchianti, II
Thomas B. Grealish
Paul M. Matvey, Jr.
John R. Rupprecht, Jr.
Janice L. Schaming
Daniel V. and Kenneth A. Unico
Michael R. Vozza, Jr.
Grealish, a 1983 Duquesne graduate and president of Henderson Brothers, Inc., is a member of the University's Board of Directors. "Through my service on the Board's Athletics Committee, I understand the value of sports in general--and basketball in particular--to building school spirit and Duquesne's reputation," he said. "I also recognize the impact the Fund for Excellence will have.
"Our administration, staff, coaches and student-athletes are working harder than ever to compete at the highest level. As a longtime supporter, it was important for me to step it up as well."
Rupprecht, a vice president with McKesson Corp., was introduced to Duquesne through his three children: a son who has graduated and two daughters currently studying there. "I've developed great relationships with the staff, coaches and administrators in Duquesne's Athletic Department," he said.
"My family and I are firm believers in the product, and most of all, the people," Rupprecht continued. "We are proud to give to the Fund for Basketball Excellence because we know it will make a significant difference in the growth of Duquesne basketball, now and for years to come."
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