The Virginia Athletics Foundation (VAF) was originally chartered as the Virginia Student Aid Foundation in December 1948 to help take the University of Virginia’s athletics programs to new levels. Discussions centered on the advantages of offering grant in aids to help attract the best student-athletes to the University.

As the Foundation grew, its focus centered on raising both annual and endowment monies. From the 1950s through the 1970s, donations to the Foundation grew from $100,000 for six athletics programs (basketball, baseball, boxing, football, lacrosse, and track) to almost $750,000 for eight men’s and eight women’s programs.

During the 1980s and 1990s, emphasis was placed on gender equity. Donations grew to more than $4.5 million and the endowment grew to almost $12 million. The Foundation’s role grew in 2000 to encompass all areas of fundraising for Virginia Athletics including sport-specific contributions in the Friends Of program, facility replacement and renovation, 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, VAF donors support all 316.6 athletics scholarships, the academic experience of student-athletes, sport-specific operational costs, awards, and facilities.