St. Thomas shield.

Tommie Athletic Fund Puts Up Record Numbers in 2023

Athletics surpasses 1,000 donors, makes history in dollars raised

The Tommie Athletic Fund, the fundraising and philanthropy arm of the University of St. Thomas Athletic Department, closed out a record FY23 on June 30.

“I am so incredibly grateful for the support we saw this year from our alumni, friends and supporters,” said Ben Fraser, senior associate athletic director for development. “We have put together a special group in the Tommie Athletic Fund who work hard each and every day to support our mission of comprehensive excellence.”

The year saw many highlights that included a record number of donors who participated and supported Tommie Athletics on the university’s annual Tommie Give Day in November. In January, St. Thomas Athletics announced the single largest philanthropic gift ever given to a university in the state of Minnesota, when Lee and Penny Anderson committed a historic $75 million gift to kick off the Lee and Penny Anderson Arena campaign. The year concluded with a record-breaking Purple Party in May that generated nearly double the support from the previous year.

“The St. Thomas community has stepped up to advance Tommie athletics, and I’m grateful for the resources they provide in support of our student-athletes,” commented Dr. Phil Esten, director of athletics. “The entire Tommie Athletics Fund team has worked tirelessly to grow the impact made through philanthropy. Their efforts, along with invested time from coaches and others across the university, are making a difference as we continue our upward trajectory.”

Overall, the Tommie Athletic Fund surpassed 1,000 unique individual donors for the first time in its history, with 30% of those individuals being brand-new donors to the University of St. Thomas. The annual fund (1904 Club) surpassed $1 million for the first time in its existence through the support of over 650 members. Together, the team closed six gifts of more than $1 million, and the Tommie Athletic Fund also added three new endowed scholarships, which will provide a lasting impact on St. Thomas student-athletes. In total, the Tommie Athletic Fund generated nearly $87 million in production for FY23.

It’s not just about the dollars raised. The Tommie Athletic Fund also helped engage with alumni and supporters across the country through hosting 22 different events in 11 different states, ranging from Arizona and Utah to South Dakota, New York and more. These events enhanced the vision of St. Thomas’ continued trajectory to become a top national Catholic university.