Virtual Homecoming Event Raises Money for Athletics

Villanova Alumni all over the country participated in the Virtual Homecoming events.

Almost 600 runners participated across the country in the Virtual Run Nova 5k, which took place Oct. 24 and 25. Participants ran almost 2,000 miles over the weekend and raised a total of $13,000.

The 5k was part of the Homecoming 2020 festivities that are used to celebrate the annual homecoming football game where alumni and Villanova football fans are encouraged to come back to campus. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the event got cancelled and the football season was postponed to the spring, as was every other fall sport.

However, Villanova decided to do Homecoming at Home
so that all those who wanted to participate could do so from the safety and the comfort of their own homes. Participants received a commemorative t-shirt and printable race day bib at registration. They were also encouraged to share their experience on social media with #RunNova5k and #NovaHomecoming.

All of the funds were raised for the Villanova Athletics Department. Events included Live Trivia and a rebroadcast of the 2009 championship football game. The broadcast had almost 600 viewers. The trivia sections included topics such as Villanova football, campus life, and Villanova Athletics alumni.

COVID-19 has forced the Athletic Department to freeze large purchases and projects in hopes of keeping all varsity sports on campus. Additionally, men’s basketball head coach Jay Wright and other top-salaried employees were asked to take pay cuts to help keep all varsity sports up and running. Villanova has luckily been able to keep all 22 teams active and participating on campus.

Across the country, Divi- sion I varsity teams are being cut
at universities, due to a lack of funds. Some schools were lucky and only were forced to cut one or two teams, while others were forced to cut multiple. Stanford, for 
example, was forced to cut co-ed sailing, wrestling, rowing and a few other sports. Iowa has also discontinued men’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s tennis. From Division I to Division III, all colleges are feeling the economic pressure of the pandemic.

From tennis to baseball to rowing to swimming, colleges all across the country are experiencing similar difficulties. No matter the loss, student-athletes around the country are struggling amidst the pandemic.

Villanova Athletics has been able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for its department this semester. Only a few weeks ago, the department raised nearly $636,000 on 1842 day. All of these donations will hopefully keep Villanova Athletics and its 22 teams funded to continue their competitions for years to come.

The Run Nova 5k is a popular way that alumni interact with their alma mater. Another 5k occurred over the summer during the month of June to benefit the Emergency Fund and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Between salary cuts, fundraising and the pause of large purchases, the focus for the Villanova Athletics department is to do everything possible to keep all 22 varsity sports and give its athletes an opportunity to compete and maintain scholarships.