Five members of the Golden Gopher women’s gymnastics team have been named recipients of endowed scholarships for the 2009-10 season. Jamie Bullock is receiving the Eckman Scholarship, Alexis Russell is the recipient of the Sophia Benaires Scholarship, Kristin Furukawa has the Alumnae Leadership Scholarship, Kendra Elm has the Gary & Mary Lou Rooney Scholarship and Ana Balboa is the recipient of the Kathleen Ridder Scholarship.
Maintaining a top Division I athletics program requires sustained resources that can be relied on year after year. With that in mind, scholarship endowments are a top fundraising priority and the focus of the Forever Gold Scholarship Program. Forever Gold was created to establish and strengthen long-term endowments which provide scholarship money year after year through annual investment and interest income. A donor or group of donors can create an endowment fund to benefit Golden Gopher Athletics.
The cost of athletics scholarships at the University of Minnesota has risen dramatically in the last ten years. An in-state scholarship (tuition, books, fees, and room & board) costs $19,000 a year. The total scholarship cost for the athletics department each year now totals nearly $8.8 million. The five endowed scholarships in the sport of women’s gymnastics help ensure that Minnesota’s women’s gymnastics program can remain fully funded.
Kristin Furukawa’s scholarship, the Alumnae Leadership Scholarship, is a newly endowed scholarship, funded by donations from alumni and supporters of Minnesota women’s gymnastics. Gifts of all sizes have been collected, and together, Gopher women’s gymnastics supporters have raised more than the $25,000 needed to establish an endowed scholarship. For more information on contributing to this women’s gymnastics scholarship, contact the Golden Gopher Fund at 612-626-GOLD or GGF@umn.edu.