Mission Statement

The Virginia Athletics Foundation, through its fundraising efforts, strives to support a preeminent intercollegiate athletics program at the University of Virginia by providing student-athletes the opportunity to achieve academic and athletic excellence.

Dirk Katstra

A Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Cavalier Fans,

Virginia Athletics enjoyed a terrific year in 2016. Ranked in the Top 10 of all athletics programs nationwide, this accomplishment is a direct reflection of your support of Virginia Athletics through a donation to the Virginia Athletics Foundation.

As you will notice, our 2017 fundraising materials are a little different from the traditional Membership Guide we have sent at the start of previous years. Through the All In For Excellence initiative, donor contributions impact the athletics program in so many ways. We felt using this format allowed for a more comprehensive presentation to show what your contribution means for the future of Virginia Athletics.

This information outlines the All In For Excellence initiative and the many opportunities donors have to support student-athletes at the University of Virginia. The Annual Fund remains the lifeblood of our program and is still the primary source to fund our scholarships. We remain challenged to keep pace with increased tuition and full cost of attendance for all 316.6 scholarships allowed by the NCAA, which is why your continued Annual Fund commitment is so very important to our overall success.

We understand that the benefits associated with annual giving are important to many of our donors, so we’ve broken out this information into a separate guide for easy reference. Should you have any questions about the All in For Excellence initiative or donor benefits, please do not hesitate to call any member of our staff.

For 2017, it will be important for our Annual Fund to grow, our donor base to expand, new scholarships to be endowed and progress to be made on operational and facility projects.

We are so grateful for your support and hope we can count on you again in 2017.

2017 VAF Annual Fund Goal: $19,200,000

Here are some ways you can help assure that Virginia Athletics and our student-athletes continue on the path to Uncompromised Excellence:

  • Take It To The Next Level is an initiative that gives you the option to take your support to the next giving level in order to help us reach our goal.
  • Make your gift or pledge and participate in I Give 110%.

Thank you for all you do on behalf of Virginia Athletics.

Go Hoos,

Dirk P. Katstra
Executive Director

What We Do

The Virginia Athletics Foundation raises funds to support scholarships, the Athletics Academic Affairs program, a portion of the operational budget for each team, as well as all athletic facility projects. The VAF staff is committed to engaging members and fans who embrace Virginia athletics and want to be part of the success of our student-athletes — seeing them compete in the sport they love, earn a degree from the University of Virginia and be successful in their lifelong endeavors.

  • The VAF is about YOU, our members, who financially and passionately support all 27 sports at the University of Virginia. VAF members are student-athlete alumni, members of the Charlottesville community, fans from across the country, parents, alumni and businesses.
  • The VAF staff works tirelessly to generate enthusiasm for and raise the funds necessary to support Virginia’s athletics programs.
  • Our development team works with members to align their philanthropic interests with the needs of the athletics department.
  • Development officers have assigned regions in and out of state and work directly with one or more assigned sports.
  • All 316.6 NCAA scholarships allowed by the NCAA are fully funded.
  • Student-athletes receive individualized academic support through the Athletics Academic Affairs program funded by VAF.
  • Qualified student-athletes are given the opportunity to attend summer school.
  • A portion of the operational needs of the athletics program are provided and include recruiting costs, team travel, equipment and athletic training.
  • Student-athletes practice and participate in some of the finest facilities in the nation.
  • Virginia Athletics has finished in the Top 30 of the Learfield Director’s Cup every year since its inception.
  • To create enthusiasm for our teams and to further develop donor relations, we host over 100 events a year that include pre- and post-game functions, golf outings, special milestone celebrations, the All-Sports Reunion, spring and fall socials, meet-the-coach opportunities, bowl and post-season competition arrangements and events, etc.
  • Donors making a $100 minimum gift receive the Cavalier Corner, a magazine published six times per year that covers Virginia’s 27 varsity programs. All donors receive email updates of noteworthy events or deadlines.
  • Donors making an annual gift of at least $100 receive the priority seating and parking for home and away athletics events for many of our varsity sports.

Tradition of Excellence

By becoming a member of the Virginia Athletics Foundation you give every student-athlete the opportunity to earn a college degree and to compete in the sport they love.

VAF members provide the funds that support 650 student-athletes. This support includes:

  • Scholarships
  • A team of academic coordinators
  • Training and competition facilities
  • Career planning
  • Community service outreach
  • Opportunities for leadership/personal development

The VAF 2017 Annual Fund goal is $19,200,000 from 10,000 members. To reach these goals we need a team of Cavalier donors who are committed to financially supporting the athletics program at the University of Virginia.

When you make a donation to the Virginia Athletics Foundation, you support every aspect of a student-athlete’s experience at the University of Virginia, from the moment they are recruited to the day they walk the Lawn for final exercises. But, the investment you make doesn’t stop there. Doors are opened for career opportunities because of the degrees earned from the University of Virginia.

Your gift provides the learning experience for student-athletes—in the classroom, in athletics training and competition and in service to a greater community. Because of your financial commitment:

  • 316.6 scholarships are funded for UVA’s 27 sports programs
  • An academic affairs team supports every student-athlete
  • Practice and competition facilities remain among the nation’s best
  • Coaches can recruit top student-athletes
  • Travel and competition at the highest level are made possible

And You Are Able to:

  • Give student-athletes every opportunity for academic success
  • Enjoy the excitement of premier athletics competition
  • Wear the orange and blue with pride
  • Commit to the mission of Uncompromised Excellence of Virginia athletics

* Click chart to enlarge

You Can Make a Difference

The 2016-2017 cost of scholarships includes an increase in tuition, as approved each year by the University’s Board of Visitors (approximately 4-5% annually). To help meet rising costs, VAF has two initiatives – Take It To The Next Level and I Give 110% – which encourage and reward increased participation from current members.

We must begin to dramatically increase our donor base in order to fund the needs of the program. With an active staff of 21, it is impossible for us to reach each alumnus or fan of Virginia athletics.

History of the Foundation

During the 1940s, discussions began for creating a program to take Virginia athletics to new levels. By December 1948, the charter for the Virginia Student Aid Foundation, now known as the Virginia Athletics Foundation, had been granted and Mr. J. Malcolm Luck, then Alumni Association Secretary, named Gilly Sullivan the Secretary of the Foundation.

With the first recorded meeting of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees on April 9, 1949, discussion centered around the advantages of offering full grants versus partial funding to attract the best student-athletes to the University.

In 1958, Ted Davenport became Secretary for the Foundation when Gilly Sullivan took over retiring President Luck’s position as Secretary of the Alumni Association. It was during this same period that the VSAF Board realized the need to raise both annual and endowment monies, and an endowment committee chaired by Lawrence Lewis, Jr. was formed. By 1958, fundraising goals had reached $100,000 and six programs (basketball, baseball, boxing, football, lacrosse, and track) received financial assistance.

The ’60s realized great gains in the number of contributors and by the end of the decade, there were 2,136 donors who contributed a total of $189,271. By the late ’70s, 16 programs, including eight women’s programs, were receiving $741,891 in scholarship monies.

During the next decade, great emphasis was placed on gender equity and by 1989, 120 female student-athletes were receiving scholarship assistance. In the ’80s, gifts increased from $800,000 to nearly $3 million.

Fundraising continued to climb in the ’90s and by 1995, donors took VSAF to the highest levels of increase in the history of the Foundation. The annual campaign reached $4,526,508 and the endowment grew to more than $11.7 million.

In 2000, the role of the Foundation grew to encompass all areas of fundraising for Virginia athletics to include sport-specific contributions in the Friends Of program, facility replacement and renovations, luxury suite sales and an endowment to fully fund the entire athletics program. In the fall of 2002, the Foundation changed its name to the Virginia Athletics Foundation to reflect this change in responsibility.

Today, there are 650 student-athletes in 27 intercollegiate programs at the University of Virginia. The Foundation fully funds all 316.6 scholarships allowed by the NCAA, the Athletics Academic Affairs program and summer school for all student-athletes. Additionally, the Foundation funds a portion of the athletics operational budget that includes recruiting costs, team travel, equipment and athletic training. The Foundation spearheads all fundraising campaigns for the renovation of existing athletics facilities and the construction of new facilities.


The University of Virginia Athletics Compliance Program interfaces with student-athletes, coaches, athletic staff members, university personnel, as well as alumni and friends of the University of Virginia. It is the responsibility of the University of Virginia¹s Athletics Department to control its athletics program, monitor its programs and ensure that members of the University¹s staff, student-athletes and other individuals or groups representing the University¹s athletics interest comply with all ACC and NCAA regulations.

Please do not hesitate to contact the UVA Office of Compliance (434-982-5018) if you have any questions. In addition, please visit the NCAA website and review our booster brochure for more information.

NCAA: Role of Boosters in Intercollegiate Athletics
Booster Brochure ­ Guide To NCAA Rules