Earlier this week, the Pittsburg State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics began its 2009 Athletic Scholarship & Fund Drive.

Earlier this week, the Pittsburg State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics began its 2009 Athletic Scholarship & Fund Drive.
PSU Assistant Athletic Director/Marketing Bill Kroenke said that the university has been very fortunate, in years past, with the community support that Gorilla athletics has received.
“After four days of sales, we have seen a lot of people that are very interested in Pittsburg State athletics because of the success we have had,” Kroenke said. “We do not set a goal because we are very appreciative of what the community does.”
Last year, the drive raised approximately $340,000 — an increase of $23,000 from the 2007 total — which set a record for the drive.
“Last year’s group significantly increased the scholarship drive, with the highlights of the four winners,” Kroenke said.
Brian Hutchins, Kevin Hamilton, Joe Beitzinger, Johnny Steele won last year’s individual scholarship drive awards.
Additional Scholarship Drive Volunteer Teams were: Dennis Gatewood and Wayne Gilmore, Brian Jones and Henry Buset, John Levra and Roy Cagle, Mike Carpenter and Charlie Snow, Dave Chiapetti and Bob Stefanoni, April Wilkes and Lacie Anderson, and Jeff Elliott and Brian Sutton.
They were part of the volunteers that help the PSU athletics conduct the community fundraising campaign to support the cost of athletics scholarships and operating expenses at PSU.
This year, as in year’s past, the university does not set a goal as to how much they seek to raise during the campaign.
“In the economic times that we are in, we were reluctant to set a figure,” Kroenke said. “If you go up 10 percent that would be $34,000 and we won’t go up that much. If we went up five percent, that would be remarkable.”
Kroenke said that the university funds approximately 118 in-state and out-of-state scholarships. With a figure of $10,000 per year, per in-state scholarship and $18,000 per year, per out-of-state scholarship, the athletic department has about $1.8 million in scholarships per year — depending on how many in-state and out-of-state scholarships their programs have.
With no tax dollars spend on intercollegiate scholarships in the state of Kansas Kroenke said that the remainder of scholarships not funded by the drive are paid for by student fees and contributions to Lettermen’s accounts.
“We spend what we get and we cannot spend more than what we get,” Kroenke said.
Even with potential national economic downturns over the past year, he said that the start to the drive has been solid.
“The success we have had on the field and with our women’s program, that has allowed us to already see a good increase in season-ticket sales,” Kroenke said.
While the fundraising drive informally continues until the start of the 2009-10 fall semester, the spring drive will run until Saturday, April 18.
Drive volunteers will be honored for their efforts at halftime of the Gorillas’ Spring Football Scrimmage that morning.
For more information about the 2009 Athletic Scholarship & Fund Drive or to make changes/upgrades existing seat locations, contact Asst. AD/Marketing Bill Kroenke at (620) 235-4148 or Senior Administrative Specialist Lacie Anderson at (620) 235-4389.

Matthew Clark can be reached at matthew.clark@morningsun.net or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140. Follow Morning Sun sports at twitter.com/mssports.

2009 drive has new features

New features to the drive in 2009 include Pitt State football and basketball block seating options and a donor incentive drawing.
Block seating, in increments of 25 seats at both Carnie Smith Stadium and John Lance Arena, may be purchased by individuals or businesses for all home basketball games and all home football games, excluding Homecoming (Oct. 24) and Family Day (Sept. 26). At Carnie Smith Stadium, block seating is available in the Upper East Stadium, Lower East Stadium or West Stadium. Exact seating locations will be determined by the PSU Ticket Office based on availability.
Donors who make first-time pledges or existing donors who increase their ’09 pledge from 2008 giving levels, qualify for chances to win a 32-inch flat screen television.
Donors earn one chance for every $50 in new money donated to the drive. The lucky winner will be announced at halftime of the Spring Football Scrimmage on Apr. 18.