July 3, 2007
As the 2006-07 academic year has drawn to a close, it is time to reflect on the past 12 months and also look into the future of Bulldog athletics.
Academic excellence: Congratulations to the Class of 2007!
More academic excellence: Last week, 78
Even more academic excellence: A.J. Graves was named to the basketball's Academic All American First Team.
Championships: Horizon League championships were captured by women's cross country, men's cross country, men's basketball, men's tennis and women's golf. Great efforts in every case led to the ultimate success...team success. Visit the respective team websites at: www.butlersports.com.
Golfest: The tremendous work done by the university Advancement team, B-Association and athletic department staff resulted in a 2007 Butler Golfest sellout! Over 280 Bulldog supporters joined forces on
Hall of Fame: The recently completed 2007 Butler Athletics Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony was a grand success. A sellout crowd saluted 7 individuals and 1 team of
The window to
Lacrosse and men's swimming: While there have been many more positive than negative events during the 2006-07 school year, I would be remiss to fail to note our sport contraction. In sponsoring twenty-one Division 1 sports (which was more than Oklahoma, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Georgia Tech, not to mention five more sports on average than our Horizon League opponents) Butler has not been able to support our athletic programs with the resources needed for them to be competitive. Of ten peer private institutions studied,
Support: In August, I announced that the Athletic Department would have emphasized priorities of fund-raising, sponsorships and marketing (ticket sales) in the upcoming year. We are pleased to announce this emphasis has paid off with growth in all areas.
· Charitable giving to the Athletic Department for annual purposes increased by 71% over the previous year.
· A record total of 1,524 people made gifts this year, which is up from 996 in 2005-06 (a 53% increase in donors).
· Sponsorship revenue increased by 67% over the previous year.
· Eight new sponsors have been brought on since September, which means the Athletic Department is proud to have more than 40 corporate partners on board heading into 2007-08.
· Men's basketball ticket revenue increased by 81% and attendance rose by 50% (do you think the record setting season had an effect? Duh!)
Finally, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to our successes in 2006-07. Student-athletes, coaches, support staff, alumni, university administration, sponsors, donors and fans. Our `dog pack' has grown and we welcome all who believe in The Butler Way.