Friday, February 23, 2007

DC Alumni President Robert Walter's Plan

This is a letter from Robert Walter, Track Alumnus and President of the OU Alumni @ DC.

Track & Field Supporters,

This is an update on the status of Ohio U. Men's Track Program

The coaches and I met with the Athletic Director on Tuesday (2/20).

During that meeting we proposed the following plan:
1. Eliminate Indoor Track
2. Keep the Outdoor track team with a smaller roster of athletes (35)
3. Raise an endowment that would fund the operating budget for the outdoor

We asked the AD to give us an answer soon on our proposal. He said that he
would think about it and discuss it this week and get back to Coach Calkins
when the team returns from the MAC Meet first thing next week.

If he agrees to let us attempt to raise the necessary amount for an endowment,
we will have to move very quickly and aggressively to reach the level of
funding we would need by the time we would need to raise it by. We assume that
our deadline would be around the end of the school year/end of June - so that
all the athletes would know what is going on for the next year.

The level of funding we need to raise we estimate to be $300,000. This amount
would endow the team permanently with a payout each year of $12,000 for the
team operating budget. This amount would grow progressively as time goes on
because a portion of the interest will be reinvested in the principal to grow
the base.

We can add our fundraising efforts for the team onto the proceeds already
raised with the Elmore Banton Endowment Fund 3 years ago. This will slightly
ease the level of fundraising that we need to achieve. We currently have just
over $15,000 in the Banton Fund.

For our fundraising efforts we will first be sending out a mailing to all Ohio
Track & Field/Cross-Country alumni asking them to send in a pledge amount for
a donation to the fund.

We are not going to have anyone send in their actual donations until we
reached the level of pledges that exceeds the goal set by the Athletic Dept.
to fund the team. We didn't want to have to send refunds out if we don't reach
our goal. That way your money will only be used for the track team and nothing

We plan to have the current track team members call all alumni asking for
pledges. I would also ask you and everyone we can reach to contact your
teammates from when you were here and ask them to give. It is one thing to be
asked by someone that you don't know for money, it helps if you are asked by
someone that you know.

My personal goal is to call everyone that I was a teammate with (86-90), or
coached in my two years as grad assistant (90-92) and ask them to help out. I
would ask you to do the same to everyone that you ran with on the team when
you were at OU.

We will be asking all the Coaches (Banton, Huntsman, etc..) to help in this
effort and reach out to the athletes that they coached and ask them to give as

One thing you should ask your employers is whether they MATCH donations. Many
companies will match donations and this kind of thing can help us reach our
goals. The donations are going to the Ohio U Foundation, and are tax

We also need to reach outside our circle of alumni if we are going to be
successful in this effort. Any individuals or organizations that have an
interest in seeing Track (in general) survive are encouraged to help! Please
get us their contact information, or ask them yourselves if you know them.
Think of any foundations that might support sports and reach out to them or
send us their contact info.

I am pledging the first $1,000 donation to help kick off this campaign to save
our team. We cannot let the oldest sport on the planet disappear from our alma

I am confident we will be successful in this effort, if the Athletic Dept.
allows us to try.

We will send out an update as soon as we have word from the Athletic Dept.
next week. In the meantime, keep the current team in your hearts and minds as
they compete in what is the last Indoor MAC Championships ever for the Men's
team this weekend.

Go Bobcats!

Robert Walter, '90, '92

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