In the spring of 2021, over 700 alumni and friends came together to raise over $172,000 for WPI Athletics, making it our most successful Goat Nation Giving Challenge Ever. We caught up with a few of the teams on how that support is making a difference.
"With a donation to the WPI Men's Basketball Program, you have positively impacted the quality of the student-athlete experience. The funds are used for the essentials like team meals during term breaks and equipment we use daily in practice. For the future of our program, your generosity helps our staff vigorously recruit the next group of young men that will wear the WPI uniform. Finally, we are planning a team trip to Europe for the summer of 2023 and hope you will join us on our journey! I like to say to people our program is built to last, and it is because of the brotherhood and family atmosphere we have created here."
Coach Chris Bartley
“I am most looking forward to the excitement and hunger I feel during and before games. There’s nothing like the feeling of going to battle with your brothers on the court and each of us performing our roles to help the team win.
It drives me to want to work harder and help the team succeed and fight to accomplish accolades that have not yet been reached. It’s the best feeling in the world when I know I am a part of something much greater than myself. I am helping a team succeed not only for each of my teammates and coaches, but also my school and alumni.”
Jonathan Adams ’24, Mechanical Engineering
“Supporting the Defalco Endowment for Wrestling is giving the program an opportunity to take Engineering Excellence to an even higher level. The impact and benefits to the current student-athletes academically and on the mat are being felt immediately, as we’re able to increase our brand recognition during the recruiting process across the country, all while helping to prepare the future head coaches for the program.”
Coach Matt Oney
“As a member of the wrestling program, I feel that being able to support the expansion of the coaching staff opens a window for diverse coaching styles and techniques to become enveloped into training. Ultimately, your support is also enhancing the wrestler experience by allowing more direct and frequent interaction with the coaches which will support our personal, academic, and athletic success.”
Eddie Hay ’22, Biomedical Engineering
Women’s Track and Cross Country
Pictured: our junior class women using some of the recovery/cross-training equipment we purchased with some last year's funds.
“Each year we look for ways that additional funds, raised largely through the generosity of those who give to the program through the Goat Nation Giving Challenge, can impact the members of the team in a holistic and positive way. Ultimately, we hope to gather enough funds to build a workout space just for our team's use that would border the current outdoor track & field facility. This space will also serve as a gathering place for the team and alumni during home contests. While we work towards that ultimate goal, we were fortunate enough to invest in some cross-training and rehab equipment which will assist in keeping the team healthy and boosting performances. We were able to purchase two ElliptiGo's, which allow our runners to train without impact but doing so in a more natural running motion. We also invested in more Normatec compression pants that aid in recovery after a workout.”
Coach Brian Chabot
“I am most looking forward to being able to compete alongside my teammates in what can be considered a ‘regular’ season. The past year and a half has been especially tough for everyone involved. I am proud of the way our entire group handled the constant change but obviously missed what I believe to be one of the key aspects of being on a team: comradery. This team holds many strong bonds that stretch across event groups, school years, and gender, something I consider to be quite special. Competition only furthers these connections and brings individuals with different skill sets together as one team. Being able to not only reconnect with my teammates but introduce the underclassmen to our usual traditions and antics has been long overdue.
It brings me great joy that alumni and friends are giving back to the team. I believe that most of those who are giving have been previously connected with the team in some way or another. Allowing current members to be able to experience the same enjoyment and satisfaction that they once did means the world. For me, this team is a major part of my day to day. I consider the team a second family. Having the privilege to compete with such motivated and genuine individuals is something I value greatly. Thank you for allowing our team to continue to compete to the best of our ability so that we can do what we love each and every day.”
Lora Dufresne ‘23, Mathematical Sciences
“The incredible support of our alumni during GNGC ’21 allowed the Rowing program to update its entire fleet of small boats. While we race and conduct team practices in 8 person shells, small boat rowing allows athlete access to individualized training that develops skills necessary to compete at the highest level of DIII Rowing. Alexandria Baker ’22 is quite an example of an individual that has taken our team mantra of ‘Dare to Dream’ (Donahue favorite quote) and had moved up from our bottom boats as a freshman…to the top of our program. Her use of our small boats has been instrumental to her growth. The picture is her in our new 1x the ‘Jeff Shaw ’68.’
Coach Jason Steele
“After all the ups and downs that my team has experienced in the last two years, I am super excited to be getting back into boats with all my teammates this year, both the new and the returning. I love our team's competitive yet supportive atmosphere, so I cannot wait to see where our training takes us!
After rowing a single from the new small boats fleet, I felt the support of our alumni and other donors firsthand. I feel fortunate to row wonderful boats such as these and know that it means there is a network of people rooting for our team to succeed. To everyone who's helping us from behind the scenes, thank you!”
Alexandria Baker ’22, Biomedical Engineering
“This year, I'm mostly looking forward to just getting to spend time with our team on and off the field. The past year and a half have been difficult for everyone, and we're all so grateful to be back on campus full time and looking forward to a full year of practices and games. There has been nothing but positivity and excitement from our team about the year to come.
It means the world to myself and my entire team that our alumni and friends give back to our team for us to have the best possible experience. The WPI Softball program is so much bigger than just the players currently on the team – so much of our culture and opportunities come from those who played before us and support us, and so much of the fun things we do and equipment we have is because of those who donate.”
Lindsay Ambrosino '22, Electrical and Computer Engineering & Biomedical Engineering
“We are most looking forward to being back together as a team and preparing for game this year. Its been way too long and our players and coaches have been working tirelessly preparing for the 2021 season.
To know that so many alumni support our program is the most amazing feeling. We know that when we compete on game day that we are not only representing our university, but also our alumni. We want to make them proud of our accomplishments on and off the field every day.
Our GNGC money this year will be used to replace our practice jerseys and pants and in addition we will be able to get back together as a team and host some events to bring us even closer together. We could not accomplish anything without the support of our alumni, especially during these chaotic and uncertain times.”
Phil Durgin '22, Aerospace Engineering