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University Supports District 65 Athletics

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November 16, 2007

District 65 sixth, seventh and eighth grade student-athletes will benefit from a $25,000 gift from Northwestern University to support the middle school athletics program. The donation from Northwestern received October 3, 2007 is earmarked specifically to help the district institute competitive volleyball, basketball and soccer for interested middle school students.

"The University is well-known in our school community as a committed partner, providing both financial and academic resources to support student growth and development.

This exceptionally generous donation to the middle school athletics program helps create opportunities for participating students to play competitive sports, experience school pride, learn to balance their scholastic and athletic endeavors, as well as learn other life lessons in a very positive way," said Superintendent Hardy Murphy.

Participation in competitive sports enables students to have experiences that enrich the culture of middle school. One of the primary goals of the sports program is to improve student academic outcomes. Participating student-athletes are required to maintain academic and behavioral standards. Students will also learn about collaboration, competition, character development, responsibility, and school pride. This gift from Northwestern supports the purchase team uniforms for participating athletes and continues the partnership between the school district and the university.

"We're very pleased to be able to provide the financial support requested by District 65 for this program," said Eugene S. Sunshine, Northwestern's senior vice president for business and finance. "What made it particularly attractive to us was the emphasis by District 65 on good academic performance being tied to athletic participation. We hope this gift will assist Evanston middle school students, their families and District 65."

As part of the initiative reintroducing the middle school sports program, members of the Northwestern women's soccer, volleyball, and women's and men's basketball teams recently spent the afternoon at Dr. Bessie Rhodes Magnet School showcasing their sports to the students and organizing drills and games to get students excited about this new program.

Organizer Jenna Termolen stated, "The kids really enjoyed having the student-athletes come show off their skills and just hang out. I really appreciate the Northwestern students taking the time to help promote our new sports program."

Northwestern's $25,000 donation makes it possible for the District to develop a balanced program budget and purchase high-quality uniforms for participating student-athletes. This donation is the most recent example of a series of partnerships and support that include monetary donations, academic program and services assistance, and collaborations that have given the District access to the expertise, research and resources from Northwestern University.

The District 65 Boosters Clubs will also accept gifts and pledges to support the middle school athletics program. For more information about becoming a community partner in this program, visit the District 65 web site and search for middle school athletics.