Barry and Mary Gossett (right) have passionately embraced the vision of Maryland Athletics, as well as the rise of the University of Maryland. In addition to Barry serving in many leadership roles at the university, significant gifts from the Gossetts have led to the construction of the Gossett Academic Support and Career Development Unit in the Comcast Center, and the recent expansion of the Gossett Football Team House. The academic support unit (shown below) offers Terrapin student athletes the latest technological aides to further their academic success.
Robert Taylor Jr., a pharmacist who also runs his family's farm near Spotsylvania, Va., recently made a significant gift to name the new softball facility in honor of his father, Robert Taylor Sr., and his son, Robert Taylor III. Taylor has been an avid Terrapin fan since the early 1980s, and is proud of touting all that Maryland has accomplished, both on and off the playing field.
Athletic Scholarships Are the Key to Competitiveness
On the playing field, Maryland's 27 varsity teams have proven that they can compete with any institution in the nation, regardless of that institution's fan base or strength in athletic endowments. Other large universities-those with 100,000-plus seat stadiums, for example-can provide substantially larger amounts of revenue for athletic scholarships, facility improvements and operations, simply based on attendance revenues.
With our somewhat smaller venues, Maryland must manage our revenues efficiently and responsibly. To effectively compete with other ACC and NCAA powerhouses-especially in the recruitment of top prospects-we have identified the need to greatly increase our annual scholarship support, as well as grow the endowment for scholarships and coaching positions. Without financial support from members of the Terrapin Club, we would not be able to offer scholarships to the many young men and women currently representing Maryland Athletics. We are especially grateful to our Terrapin Club members, who we consider to be some of the strongest athletics boosters and fans anywhere, for their level of private support. We are also seeking greater participation in the area of building a strong endowment program. Endowments for Maryland Athletics provide perpetual support for scholarships or other vital operations, establishing a legacy and ensuring that the tradition of outstanding athletics at the University of Maryland will continue for generations to come.
The figures to the right reflect the most recently reported number of donors that contribute to the athletics annual scholarship fund of our peer institutions in the ACC. As you can see, Maryland needs to significantly enhance the number of donors to the Terrapin Club for annual athletic scholarships in order to increase the overall private annual scholarship support, and level the playing field with our competition.
Number of Donors to Athletics Scholarship Annual Fund of ACC Institutions (for FY06)
At the University of Maryland, we are keenly aware that our student athletes are students first, and that participation in athletics is just one important part of their well-rounded educational experience. On our path to greatness, we have set the bar high for our student athletes. Each year, we seek to finish in the top three of the eight ACC public institutions in the key academic achievement categories of: (a) NCAA Graduation Success Rate, (b) NCAA Academic Progress Rate, and (c) ACC All Academic selections.
Intercollegiate Athletics' Most Current Academic Achievement Rates
NCAA Grad. Rate = 76%
NCAA APR = 966
ACC All Academic Selections = 254
While the academic achievement rates shown here are some of the best in the ACC, we still have other goals to achieve. We want to consistently finish in the top 10 percent of all 325 NCAA Division I institutions in competitive excellence, while continuing to be a national leader for gender equity. We also strive to promote character development and leadership qualities by asking each of our 27 teams to participate in the community service of their choosing.
In April 2006, the Maryland women's basketball team scored a thrilling overtime victory to win the NCAA National Championship, showcasing Maryland's athletic skills to an international audience. Team leaders Shay Doron and Crystal Langhorne also showcased the team's academic achievement, with both being named to the 2006 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Women's Basketball Team. To be eligible for consideration, a student-athlete must have earned a minimum 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during her academic career.
When Hurricane Katrina struck the United States in September of 2005, Jason Garey (right), a senior forward on the men's soccer team who hails from Gonzales, La., immediately went to work with his fellow Terps. The team started a Katrina Relief Fund, while also taking time from their athletic and academic schedules to collect food, clothing and money for the hurricane's victims. "I was extremely proud of the team," says head coach Sasho Cirovski. "They saw a need and responded brilliantly." Both Garey and his teammates would certainly have a season to remember: the Terps won the 2005 NCAA National Championship, with Garey earning multiple national honors, including Soccer America and Sports Illustrated On Campus Player of the Year, as well as the National Academic Player of the Year.
For the past four years, the Maryland women's gymnastics team has visited a local elementary school to read to schoolchildren and discuss the importance of considering a college education as they grow older. "Our athletes first do a small gymnastics demonstration-and more importantly-explain to the students how important education is," says head gymnastics coach Bob Nelligan. "We find it gratifying to encourage the children to be physically active, as well as pay attention in school and do well with their reading."