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The V Foundation for Cancer Research Announces V University and the ECAC as its First Conference Partner

The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, is pleased to formally announce its V University initiative and the Eastern College Athletic Conference as its first partner.  V University is a virtual campus that offers collegiate athletic conferences, departments, teams and student-athletes an opportunity to raise funds for cutting-edge cancer research.  V University was formed to help spread the late Coach Jim Valvano’s message of perseverance—“Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”®—shared during his inspirational speech at the inaugural ESPY Awards in 1993, pre-dating most of today’s collegiate student-athletes.  V University is committed to providing its partners and supporters with the recognition they deserve through its “V University Spotlight” section of the webpage.  As the V Foundation pushes to achieve victory over cancer, the ECAC and other V University partners will help fund V Scholar grants designed to identify, retain and further the careers of “rising star” scientists establishing their research.

“The partnership between the ECAC and V University is an exciting opportunity for all ECAC member institutions,” said Jay Moran, ECAC Chairman of the Board and Director of Athletics at Southern Connecticut State University.  “It will enable student-athletes to continue their philanthropic efforts and encourage others to join the mission of the V Foundation.  Our student-athletes are giving back to their campus and local communities in so many great ways, and this partnership creates another avenue for them to shine outside the athletic arena while helping others!”

The largest and only multi-divisional conference in the nation, the ECAC’s enthusiasm for V University reinforces its goal of promoting the development of its member institutions as well as student-athletes’ leadership and excellence.  The ECAC will celebrate the partnership’s launch when Fairfield University’s men’s basketball team hosts Monmouth University at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn., on February 21.  Messaging and signage during the ECAC/V University Tipoff game will encourage fans to get involved and visit the ECAC’s V University website.  Through the conference-wide partnership, the ECAC will emphasize Valvano’s “Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”® mantra on and off the field of play to its member institutions’ 110,000-plus student-athletes across more than 30 men’s and women’s varsity sports.

“We are thrilled to partner with V University through the V Foundation for Cancer Research to aid in their mission to achieve victory over cancer,” said ECAC President and CEO Dan Coonan.  “The V Foundation has done a wonderful job raising funds for cancer research and the ECAC is proud to be a part of such an important initiative.”

Through a competitive awards process vetted by a world-renowned Scientific Advisory Committee, the V Foundation proudly awards 100% of direct donations to cancer research and related programs, including those funds raised by the ECAC and other V University partners.  V University donations will help fund V Scholar grants, providing the most promising researchers a competitive edge necessary to earn additional funding throughout their careers.  By focusing on brilliant young investigators, the V Foundation has leveraged more than $1 billion in additional funding for researchers to date.  V University funds will contribute to the V Foundation’s recently announced $200 million capital campaign, Not a Moment to Lose, which aims to build on the momentum of today’s research findings and focus on emerging, high-impact research opportunities.

“The V Foundation has deep roots in collegiate athletics, since our founding by college basketball coach Jim Valvano and ESPN,” said Susan Braun, CEO of the V Foundation.  “We recognize the great spirit and generosity of student-athletes and college students overall and know that Jim’s message, “Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”® resonates well with them.  We look forward to a lot of fun and a great contribution to cancer research.”

The V University online fundraising platform includes a digital toolkit with all the materials needed for student-athletes, their sports or club teams and athletic departments to create their own fundraising events. Whether forming a golf or basketball tournament, organizing a team activity or driving fans to donate during games, the goal is to make fundraising easy, fun and rewarding.

For more information about V University, please visit www.jimmyv.org/vuniversity.  To contribute to the ECAC’s efforts, please visit www.jimmyv.org/ECAC and follow the #VUniversity conversation on Twitter.