BURLINGTON, Vt. Betty ’93 and Paul Mayer of Shelburne, Vermont have made an extraordinary gift in support of women’s basketball at the University of Vermont (UVM), Director of Athletics Jeff Schulman announced this afternoon before the team tipped-off against the University at Albany. The gift is the largest ever made exclusively to a UVM women’s athletics program and will permanently endow the Elizabeth F. Mayer ’93 and Paul J. Mayer, M.D. Women’s Basketball Head Coach.
Third-year Head Women’s Basketball Coach Alisa Kresge becomes the first ever women’s coach at UVM to hold an endowed position and also the first in the history of the America East conference. With their gift, the Mayers have added UVM to a short—and prestigious—list of universities with endowed women’s basketball coaches that includes Stanford, Notre Dame, Cornell, Dartmouth, Drake, and the University of Miami.
“Today is a very special day for the University of Vermont and I know that I represent all of Catamount Country in expressing my deepest appreciation to Paul and Betty for this historic gift,” said UVM Director of Athletics Jeff Schulman ’89. “Their passion, commitment and generosity to UVM Athletics, and specifically to our women’s basketball program, is truly exceptional and will be instrumental in helping current and future Catamount student-athletes build upon the rich and proud tradition of UVM Women’s Basketball.”
“We would like to thank these beautiful and wonderful student-athletes for using both their basketball and academic skills,” said Betty Mayer. “Their drive for perfection and their special individual personalities working together as a team are evident. They share that personal relationship with us, their fans, and the young people who look up to them as role models. We have loved getting to know these ladies—how lucky we are that they came to UVM for their college years!”
“We’ve made this gift in recognition of the years of work by the faculty, staff, coaches, and athletes to create a program of ever growing athletic and academic excellence,” added Paul Mayer. “We recognize the need for parity in women’s athletics and hope that this fund will help the University develop a program of national prominence and continue to develop student athletes who will become women of exceptional purpose and consequence.”
The Mayers are generous and dedicated supporters of the University. In addition to their gifts to UVM Athletics, they have also made major philanthropic investments in the Larner College of Medicine, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the College of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences. The Mayers’ new gift expands a legacy of support for women’s basketball that includes the Mayer Endowed Fund for Women’s Basketball, which they established in 2014.
“Betty and Paul are true heroes for these players and for this program. I’m truly grateful for their support and deeply honored to assume this wonderful title,” said Kresge, the new Mayer Women’s Basketball Head Coach. “The resources that they’ve provided will forever strengthen virtually every aspect of what we do, from recruiting, to student-athlete development, to team travel and training.”
Kresge was named the ninth head coach in UVM Women’s Basketball history in April 2019 after successfully leading the program as interim head coach during the 2018-19 season. She served as associate head coach from 2016-18. A 2007 graduate of Marist College, Kresge was an assistant coach for her alma mater from 2009 to 2016. Kresge played point guard as an undergraduate at Marist and stands as that program’s all-time leader in assists (596) and ranks second in steals (222).
“The Mayers’ marvelous support for the University of Vermont has been inspired by their own passions and values,” said UVM Foundation President and CEO Shane Jacobson. “By making such thoughtful and impactful gifts they set a wonderful example for alumni and friends to follow. Their selfless commitment to making UVM an outstanding place for students, athletes, artists, and scientists will have an impact on the community for generations.”
Fundraising for UVM Athletics is a major focus for the University of Vermont Foundation, a nonprofit corporation established to secure and manage private support for the benefit of the University of Vermont. During the University’s 8-year Move Mountains comprehensive fundraising campaign, which concluded in summer 2019, donors like the Mayers gave over $43 million to support Athletics programs, coaches, and facilities. More information about the impact of donors and the work of the UVM Foundation can be found at www.uvmfoundation.org.
Courtesy: UVM Athletics