Rockne Athletics Fund


Rockne Athletics Fund Impact Report 2019-2020

Each year, members of the Rockne Athletics Fund join in the steadfast commitment to upholding the country’s best student-athlete experience. Members of Rockne assist in providing the Athletic Department with the necessary funding to fulfill its five pillars: Excellence, Community, Education, Faith, and Tradition.

As the world faced one of the worst pandemics in history, circumstances changed for many Notre Dame families. The University made it clear that it would not allow the global health crisis to prevent any Notre Dame student from completing their degree. Gifts through Rockne provided critical assistance for student-athletes most affected by the pandemic.

Grants-In-Aid (scholarships), now more than ever remains the number one philanthropic priority for the Athletic Department. In previous years, roughly 60% of Rockne funds went to GIA's; however, that percentage will rise to 90% with the fiscal year 2020 funds raised.

On behalf of our student-athletes, thank you for your life-changing generosity. We are determined to uphold the standards we assured our student-athletes when they committed to Our Lady's University. We, too, will continue to stand alongside them and their families in these challenging times.


A record year for the Rockne Athletics Fund.


Of Rockne Funds were used for Grants-In-Aid.


Of Rockne funds used to support Monogram Club programs and outreach.

Carly Quast '21

From the moment I stepped onto Notre Dame’s campus, I wanted so badly to call the university my home, but I knew that financing that dream would be a long shot for my family. As I was being recruited for swimming, I remember standing at the pool deck’s corner with the head coach. He offered me a scholarship, and I was moved to tears. I looked up at the record board, saw all who had come before me, and pledged always to be grateful for the opportunity. When I first dove into the pool as a freshman, I could not have been prouder to be wearing the Notre Dame Monogram. To this day, I look up at the record board, where my name is now written, with so much gratitude for the opportunity to attend this university. Notre Dame has shaped who I am as an athlete and a student and as an ambassador for good in the world."

Critical Grants-In-Aid

Notre Dame Athletics’ most significant expense is GIA’s. Unlike many of our peers, Athletics pays back 100% of GIA costs. Rockne members helped ensure Athletics could address their most significant commitment of protecting over 400+ student-athletes’ GIA’s.

Impact of Covid-19

The challenges facing collegiate athletics are unprecedented. The loss of revenue has crippled many athletic departments. Notre Dame relies on football revenue more than many of her peers. Rockne members’ gifts, coupled with department-wide cost reductions of 20%, hiring freezes, and donations by coaches and other Athletics leaders, provide confidence in the University’s ability to uphold the standards we assured our student-athletes when they committed to Notre Dame.

Committed to Building Champions

Notre Dame is committed to remaining one of the top programs in varsity athletics. Still, it refuses to do so at the expense of academics and the well-being of its student-athletes. Through the bold leadership of Vice President and James E. Rohr, Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame strives to improve athletic performance by leveraging cutting-edge sports science and data analytics and investing in educational programming, including expanded career services internships, and foreign study abroad opportunities for student-athletes. Crucial to these efforts are Rockne Athletics Fund members. Partnering with Jack and Notre Dame Athletics, Rockne members help provide the greatest gift to student-athletes — a Notre Dame education.

Kerrie ‘89 and Kevin Debbs

My husband and I give back to support Notre Dame Athletics, and particularly ND Women’s Golf, because of the people to whom we are giving and responding. From the women’s golf coaches who outwardly care so, so deeply for each of their players and whose depth of character is present; to the players themselves who in every sport are young people sacrificing their time and honing their discipline and time management skills in their sport while being students at a high level. The stress these young people are sometimes under is apparent and their joy is apparent too. We also give because of the professionals in the ND Development and Monogram Club staffs who serve us and have become friends over the years. Their listening skills, their polite persistence, their conscientiousness and their response to us have been amazingly and consistently gracious. We give back to these people in the name of ND Athletics and pray that our gifts and generosity somehow encourage faith in God in the lives of our student-athletes and preserve all that is true and good about the overall University of Notre Dame." - Rockne Athletics Fund Members