CHARLOTTE – Since transitioning to NCAA Division I, philanthropic support for Queens University’s’ athletic programs has tripled, with signs of even more growth on the horizon. The university has received $2 million in philanthropic contributions in support of the move.
“We are so grateful to these Queens community members and families for this incredible display of support for our D1 transition,” President Dan Lugo said. “These investments and the broad community support behind them validate our goal of growing as a central partner in the continued growth of Charlotte and affirms our unique and dynamic position within the higher education market.”
Investments in the transition to Division I are part of the university’s larger strategic initiatives, including investments across the university in enrollment, academic programs, health and wellness, facilities and the arts.
Lugo believes Queens is poised to take its place as one of the new forerunners of American higher education due to the following factors:
• The university’s recent announcement of Lowe’s and Ally as the inaugural partners in the Charlotte Talent Initiative.
• An immersive cohort program designed to change the economic trajectories of local high school graduates and families.
• Its partnership with Atrium Health to expand health and wellness resources on campus.
• Investments in multidisciplinary programs.
• The creation of the Center for Digital Equity as a part of the Mayor’s Racial Equity initiative.
“The histories and growth of Queens and Charlotte are intrinsically linked with significant partnerships throughout the years. For 165 years Queens has been an engine of not only individual opportunity, but of social change and innovation,” Lugo said. “We are a leader and convener in Charlotte, and our move to D1 provides enhanced visibility for the impactful work we do day in and day out — both for our students and for the broader community. We would not have made it to this point without the courageous vision, support and commitment of our Charlotte partners and civic leaders who understand that the move to Division I is about so much more than athletics.”
“This is an exciting time to be a Royals student athlete and fan and we deeply appreciate the support of our donors,” said Cherie Swarthout, director of athletics at Queens. “This first game is not only the start of a history-making year for Queens, but as the only North Carolina school to compete in the ASUN and the only private Division I team in Charlotte, this is a moment for the entire city to celebrate.”
Jeffrey Brown, CEO of Ally Financial and chair of the Queens Board, saw the impact this move to Division I could have on the trajectory of the university.
“I’m proud to be a part of a diverse board made up of dedicated business, civic, and community leaders who believe in this university, believe in the leadership of President Lugo and his team, and believe with our help, this incredible university can achieve the vision outlined in its strategic framework,” Brown said. “That’s why it doesn’t surprise me at all to see that so many others in and beyond the board room have joined Sara and me in stepping up to invest in the future of Queens.”