Athletics Pledges $1.5 Million To Academics

Auburn, Ala.--Athletic Director <b>David Housel</b> has made a $1.5 million pledge to support Auburn University academics.

Speaking before the university's board of trustees athletic committee meeting on Thursday, Housel announced a specific amount of support. At an earlier board meeting, the athletic director told interim president William Walker that the athletic department would do its share to help the university raise money for academic scholarships, which is considered a major area of need for Auburn.

"Auburn's athletic department has a history of supporting athletics," Housel told Inside the Auburn Tigers. "When Coach (Pat) Dye was athletic director, the athletic department made a $1 million commitment to the library improvement program.

"We have supported a number of academic initiatives over the years. Most recently, we made a contribution of $250,000 to the employee dependents scholarship fund, which supports the sons and daughters of faculty and staff that work at Auburn. When this need came up, we wanted to be a part of helping Dr. Walker solve the problem."

Auburn, unlike many athletic departments, is self-supporting and in an era of cutbacks in many athletic programs, projects such as the one announced on Thursday are becoming unusual. The money will be sent to the scholarship program over the next five years.

"With the support of Auburn people, this athletic department, through Terry Windle's managing of our resources, has been able to be successful from a financial standpoint. We are part of this university and consider it an honor and privilege to give something back to help solve the scholarship program."

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