THE FLATS – Highlighted by more than $100 million raised to construct new state-of-the-art facilities, Athletics Initiative 2020, Georgia Tech athletics three-year, $125-million fundraising initiative, far surpassed its initial goal by raising a total of $175.39 million in gifts and commitments, director of athletics Todd Stansbury announced on Thursday.
Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic over the final 10 months of the 36-month initiative, the $175.39 million that Georgia Tech benefactors donated to AI 2020 from January 1, 2018-December 31, 2020 exceeded the $125 million goal by more than 40%.
“On behalf of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, I sincerely thank our outstanding donors for their overwhelming support of Athletics Initiative 2020,” Stansbury said. “The goal of AI 2020 was to provide us with the funds to construct state-of-the-art facilities and provide cutting-edge programming that will allow us to recruit the best student-athletes in the world, build them into even better student-athletes once they arrive and, ultimately, win at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics. Thanks to our donors’ support of AI 2020, we are on our way to achieving those goals.”
AI 2020 surpassed its fundraising goals in all three of its areas of focus – facilities ($102.23m raised against $88m goal), endowments ($37.75m raised against $25m goal) and current operations ($37.41m raised against $12m goal).
Most notably, Georgia Tech reached and exceeded its $70m goal for the crown jewel of AI 2020, the complete renovation of the Edge/Rice Center. Tech donors made gifts and commitments of $84.69m towards the new Edge Center, which will replace the current 40-year-old epicenter of Georgia Tech athletics located in the northeast corner of Bobby Dodd Stadium. The new Edge Center will provide personalized services to student-athletes, including academic, wellness and performance support, as well as programming to prepare students for professional careers. The overhauled home of Tech athletics will also serve as a welcome center for Georgia Tech students, fans and visitors, as well as include premium seating areas for Yellow Jackets football games and other events held inside Bobby Dodd Stadium.
With nearly $85m raised, the Edge Center renovation is in the latter stages of the design phase. Once the design is complete, construction will begin. Construction is tentatively expected to take 12-18 months.
Other facilities projects funded by AI 2020 included Georgia Tech football’s new $4.5 million locker room, which was completed in 2018, and the Yellow Jackets’ new women’s basketball locker room, which was completed last fall, and the $9 million Phase II renovation of the newly named Mac Nease Baseball Park (the home of Tech baseball).
Facilities Projects Funded by Athletics Initiative 2020
AI 2020 also saw the creation of Georgia Tech’s first endowed head coaching positions – the Byers men’s tennis head coach, Byers women’s tennis head coach and Toni M. and Richard L. Bergmark swimming and diving head coach. The endowment of each position will bring significant additional program support to Tech’s men’s tennis, women’s tennis and swimming and diving programs.
While AI 2020 was a success, Georgia Tech continues to work on projects that will allow the Yellow Jackets compete for ACC and national championships, while also developing the young people who will change the world. Tech athletics’ top fundraising priority remains the Support The Swarm Fund, which was established at the beginning of the academic year to help the Yellow Jackets’ offset the significant lost revenue and increased expenses associated with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Priorities for the 2021 fiscal year, which concludes in June, include completing fundraising for a new track and field/cross country team suite ($400,000 of $2 million goal remains) and the annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to attract future Everyday Champions to Georgia Tech. The Athletic Scholarship Fund has taken on added significance, as it is the source of funding for seniors who elect to return to Tech for an additional year of eligibility, as granted by the NCAA due to the effects pf the Covid-19 pandemic.
To learn more about Georgia Tech athletics’ continued fundraising priorities and to make gifts online, visit atfund.org.
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and the Support The Swarm Fund, created to give fans an opportunity to help Georgia Tech athletics maintain its recent momentum through the financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.