Rockne Athletics Fund
Rockne Athletics Fund Impact Report 2020-2021
Athletics is an opportunity for the campus community to gather together, cheer on their classmates in competition, and celebrate the unique spirit of Notre Dame.
In 2020-2021, members of the Rockne Athletics Fund helped Notre Dame Athletics fight through the pandemic without wavering on our commitment to excellence for student-athletes by providing critical funds needed to compete in every field.
Notre Dame’s late President, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., relentlessly promoted Notre Dame’s role as a leader in collegiate athletics, stressing that Notre Dame would be at the forefront in ethics and graduating Her student-athletes.
The University’s commitment remains the same today. We welcome exceptional young men and women to Notre Dame as students first, and athletes second, and are guided by our five pillars: Excellence, Education, Faith, Community, and Tradition.
As the years change, our standards and commitment do not.
Annually, members of the Rockne Athletics Fund join together to uphold Father Hesburgh’s belief and provide essential funding to "Graduate Champions" in every facet of their lives.
Thanks to our outstanding Rockne Athletics Fund Family, Rockne set a new record raising over $12.5 million, eclipsing the previous record of $10.7 million. The additional funding will go towards student-athlete scholarships.
Athletics’ most significant expense is a rising cost in student-athlete scholarships, otherwise known as grants-in-aid. Of the $12.54 million raised in the fiscal year 2021, 90% will provide grants-in-aid to Notre Dame student-athletes.
The largest Rockne Athletics Fund membership count to date ($500+ annually to Rockne). The Notre Dame Athletics community has grown significantly over the last five years and has helped build friendships among Notre Dame fans across the world.
Aidan McIntyre ’23, Women’s Rowing
Back in 2019, when I first came to ND, I looked forward to college to be in a competitive environment and be challenged daily. Notre Dame was everything I wished for, and it was entirely overwhelming. Throughout my first two years here, I faced the many challenges that accompanied balancing academics and athletics, but if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
If I had gone to a different college, my experience as a student-athlete would have been extremely different. Notre Dame’s approach to the mix of athletics and academics is unparalleled. Being at Notre Dame is the perfect mix of elite athletics and premier academics. Row Irish!"
Enhancing World-Class Facilities
Ensuring our student-athletes have the facilities needed to compete at a championship level is an ongoing but necessary battle. The Rockne Athletics Fund has consistently assisted the Department of Athletics in the upgrade of facilities when required. This year, members of the Rockne Athletics Fund provided $438,000 to renovate or add facility equipment for our student-athletes.
Prioritizing Student-Athlete Education
While we are a proud member of the ACC Conference, ACC destinations do present travel challenges. Due to our strict class attendance policy, traveling to our ACC counterparts’ campuses is exhausting for our student-athletes. Charter flights are essential to the overall well-being of our student-athletes and their ability to perform and not miss their classes. This year, members of the Rockne Athletics Fund provided $100,000 to help our student-athletes travel charter and adhere to their class attendance policies.
A degree is something that can never be taken from you. Over $8 million of funds from members of the Rockne Athletics Fund were directed to student-athlete grants-in-aid last year. It is not hyperbole to say Rockne members make life-changing gifts—the life-changing gift of a Notre Dame education.
Teri ’78 and Paul ’78 Madden
We were very excited to be a part of the Rockne Fund from the beginning and to encourage our friends to join as well. After working with several sports teams through the local Alumni Club as they visited Cincinnati, we learned that many of the Olympic Sports did not have the budgets they needed. This included not being able to fully fund all of the available scholarships. Not only did we attend the games; but worked with the compliance office and their operations teams to house and feed the student-athletes when they came to play Xavier and UC.
We believe helping fully fund all available scholarships, improving travel, and being able to offer additional educational opportunities beyond the classroom are important priorities for our student-athletes. Being a Rockne member allows us to support these important priorities and keep the Irish at the top in all that they do."