UW-Platteville announces Pioneering Forward Athletic Fund to enhance student-athlete experience

Pioneering Forward Logo

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville announces the launch of the Pioneering Forward Athletic Fund. This innovative fundraising initiative will enhance both the experience of donors and all 550 Pioneer student-athletes. 

“We are excited to kick off the Division of Athletics and Recreation Pioneering Forward Athletic Fund in partnership with our 16 intercollegiate athletic programs and 12 head coaches,” said Dr. Kristina Navarro, director of Athletics and Recreation and assistant chancellor for sports administration. 

The Pioneering Forward Athletic Fund seeks to enhance UW-Platteville’s broad-based athletics success through a focus on investing in Department of Intercollegiate Athletics growth and staffing. The goal of the fund is to provide opportunities that impact each student-athlete and realize the department’s mission and vision focused on competitive excellence and transformational leadership.

UW-Platteville athletics relies on the devoted commitment of alumni and friends to meet the ongoing and ever-changing needs of every student-athlete. For as little as $6 per month, alumni and friends can help expand staff support, enhance facilities, and invest in leadership development to ensure that all student-athletes have an opportunity to achieve their academic, athletic and life goals.

By becoming a member, donors will receive access to exclusive events and membership benefits. Beyond those benefits, every gift to the Pioneering Forward Athletic Fund directly supports UW-Platteville’s ability to enhance its staff and workforce to push forward with the goal of competing at a national level. The fund will support:

  • The addition of staff in the Sports Medicine and Sports Performance program to propel the university as a national leader across NCAA Division III.
  • Strategic facility enhancements to provide the best environment for student-athletes to reach their full potential.
  • The addition of assistant coaching positions to enable the university to recruit and retain talent from across the nation.
  • The development of the Pioneer Leadership Institute program that impacts 550 student-athletes and 50 staff members.

“This great endeavor cannot be undertaken alone,” said Navarro. “We need the support of friends, family and fans of Pioneer athletics to help us in our constant pursuit of competitive excellence. Together, we will continue Pioneering Forward!”

For more information on the Pioneering Forward Athletic Fund, including the various giving levels, visit letsgopioneers.com/Pioneering_Forward_Membership

See what alumni, coaches and friends are saying about the Pioneering Forward Athletic Fund:

"We pride ourselves in being able to deliver a D1 athletic experience at a D3 level because of the generous and timely support from Pioneer nation. There’s something special about being able to represent the orange and blue in Platteville. There’s a feeling that the university, alumni and community have our back. Top student-athletes choose to be Pioneers because of our supportive reputation and atmosphere. More students committing to us means we have a thriving campus, community and local economy. That’s why I’m personally inviting you to support the Pioneering Forward Athletic Fund and assist our vision of being THE ELITE of THE ELITE Division III athletic departments in the country."

–Jeff Gard, Men’s Basketball Head Coach

"I am proud to serve as part of the athletic director’s advisory board and help to kick-start the Pioneering Forward Athletic Fund. My decision to invest in this initiative is based on the premise that this effort directly supports programs and staffing that enhances the entire department’s profile of competitive excellence."

–Al Meyer, Men’s Basketball alumnus (1975–77)

"The Pioneering Forward Athletic Fund will allow us to continue to provide all student-athletes a transformational experience during their time as a Pioneer. As we continue to pursue WIAC championships and post-season tournament berths, additional support is crucial beyond sport specific gifts to foster broad-based program success."

–Sam Birkicht, Women’s Volleyball Head Coach

"As a Pioneer alum, school administrator, and proud proponent of the university community, I view the Pioneering Forward Athletic Fund as crucial to the future competitive success of all 16 intercollegiate athletic programs. The annual fund helps to build and enhance the brand of Pioneer athletics through a targeted staffing expansion plan. I am proud to support this effort and continue to appreciate the clear investment in the student-athlete experience via the Pioneer Leadership Institute."

–Ellie Olson, Women’s Basketball alumnus (1995–99)

"UW-Platteville Track and Field alumni and friends have been incredibly supportive throughout the years. The generosity of these individuals has not only helped produce competitive success, but more importantly has been the catalyst to the lifelong memories acquired by generations of student-athletes. That culture of giving back is now rising to another level through the Pioneering Forward Athletic Fund. This fund will take our entire department’s facility and staffing needs to the next level as we contend with our public and private school rivals."

–Chris Rotzenberg, Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Head Coach

"As a proud Pioneer alum athlete, I am thrilled to serve on the athletic director’s advisory board and help Dr. Navarro and Chancellor Shields launch this data driven Pioneering Forward Athletic Fund to support all 650 student-athletes. Dr. Navarro has developed and outlined a clear vision and mission for the department, focused on providing a transformational experience that leads to meaningful job placement, which is in my opinion, the primary purpose of higher education. An investment in this fund helps to carry the entire department to a level of national prominence and competitive excellence."

–Jim Gardner, Men’s Basketball alumnus (1972–76)