For the nearly 300 student athletes playing on Biola University’s 19 athletics teams, winning on the field is only half the battle. Affording to attend Biola with limited scholarship support sometimes requires a more daunting, complicated game plan.
That’s why this September, Biola Athletics partnered with the Office of Advancement to launch the Eagles Athletic Association (EAA), a new booster club seeking to raise funds for athletics scholarships, operating expenses and ongoing facilities improvements for athletics.
“The EAA is a collection of friends, family, alumni and community partners who are committed to Biola Athletics and are passionate about providing our student athletes with the best Biola experience possible as we prepare them in mind and character for their lives ahead,” said Dave Holmquist, athletic director and men’s basketball head coach.
The association (giving.biola.edu/eaa) will seek private donations as well as business sponsorships in order to offset the rising costs of tuition and operational expenses and improve the overall student experience.
“We realized there was a large need gap within athletics and that a number of programs were underserved in terms of resources,” said Kevin Royse, director of the Eagles Athletic Association. “There were a number of recruits who would have loved to attend Biola but it just wasn’t financially possible.”
In addition to making Biola more attractive and affordable to recruits, Royse said the goal of EAA is to provide the highest quality experience possible for current student athletes at Biola.
“We don’t want the Biola Athletics opportunity to be lessened for students because of a lack of resources,” said Royse, who was hired by Biola in December 2013 and previously worked in athletics fundraising at California Baptist University and Ball State University.
Athletics scholarships are sometimes the only way students can afford a Biola education, noted swimmer Christine Tixier (’15), 2014 NAIA National Swimmer of the Year.
“When I chose Biola as a freshman, I knew that returning would be on a year-by-year basis because of finances, but my athletic scholarship has made it possible to continue swimming for Biola each year,” said Tixier.
In addition to increased scholarships for student athletes, the EAA aims to raise funds to bring facilities up to par with the performance of Biola’s teams. Projects on the horizon include a new tennis complex, softball complex and track and field complex.
The new association will invite participation on an annual basis, allowing friends, family, alumni and other boosters to get involved at one of six levels (see page 15), each with corresponding benefits. Corporate sponsors will also receive member benefits in addition to a variety of advertising opportunities.
To join the Eagles Athletic Association visit giving.biola.edu/societies/eaa/ or call (562) 906–4128.