HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Northern Kentucky University Athletics will formally announce the public phase of its “Go Gold: NKU’s Division I Campaign” at the final men’s and women’s home basketball doubleheader against Jacksonville University on March 2. The goal of the campaign is to raise $6 millionto support NKU’s transition into NCAA Division I and the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The formal announcement will include a reception for basketball season ticket holders and Norse Athletics Club donors as well as guests in The Bank of Kentucky Center Vault at approximately 7 p.m. The women will tip at 5:30 p.m. and the men are scheduled to tip at 8 p.m.
“This is the next phase of what has been a very successful transition to Division I athletics,” said NKU Director of Athletics Scott Eaton. “During the extensive process we undertook when considering reclassification, support from our students, alumni, donors and community was strong. That support has only grown stronger. We are leading the Atlantic Sun Conference in home basketball attendance, we have had successful alumni events in cities across the country and we have already raised nearly half of our campaign goal.”
The Go Gold campaign has four priorities – supplementing athletic scholarships ($3 million), enhancing and renovating facilities ($1.5 million), academic support ($1 million) and the Go Gold Excellence Fund ($500,000). To recruit top talent, NKU needs to be able to award attractive scholarship packages to its student athletes. The university has committed to increasing its scholarship funding, upping its total athletic scholarship level to 111 this academic year and 123 next year.
To succeed at the Division I level, NKU needs to continue investing in its facilities – particularly the renovation of the Bill Aker Baseball Complex. By upgrading, renovating and constructing new athletic facilities, NKU will provide an exceptional competition space for its student-athletes and for community use, which helps increase recruitment and university engagement.
To allow student-athletes the best opportunity to succeed, the university must meet their academic needs. The department is building on a strong foundation; NKU student athletes achieved a record-high cumulative GPA of 3.11 last fall. Teams will be provided with portable electronic devices and Internet connections to help them keep up with their schoolwork during road trips. Also, the athletic department will hire more full-time and part-time academic advisors. Furthermore, the Thomas J. Kearns Student-Athlete Academic Center will be provided additional computers and expanded hours to better serve NKU student-athletes.
The Go Gold Excellence Fund helps NKU athletics support and grow its programs. From recruiting and travel expenses to equipment purchases and other needs, the Go Gold Excellence Fund will support the overall reclassification to Division I. As NKU continues the transition phase to the Atlantic Sun Conference, it must strengthen every aspect of its programs. The Go Gold Excellence Fund will give NKU athletics the flexibility to address needs as they arise and to plan strategically how best to advance NKU athletics to help the Norse succeed in the future.
“NKU athletics has seen tremendous success this year on the playing field and in the classroom,” Dr. Eaton said. “Our programs are representing the university and our community on a whole new level. With the continued support of our campus and our community, our future has never been brighter.”