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Young money helps bring fans

January 30, 2014

 

Raney Johnson
Sports Editor

 

This is the second entry of a series about the donors who help fund Tech athletics.

 

The thought of distinguished graduates long gone from Tech usually comes to mind when thinking of donors to the athletic program, but recent graduates can throw just as much money at the university.

Dynamic Donors

One of those recent graduates is Dustin Summerall, a 2006 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems.

 

“I think it is important to give back to the university,” said Summerall, a member of the alumni board.

 

Summerall said one of his favorite aspects about attending Tech was going to sporting events.

 

“One thing I liked the most were athletic events and going to other events on campus,” he said. “I really liked going to basketball games.”

 

Summerall said he enjoyed the basketball games because the games were the most fun and there were so many of them. He said he continues to support the basketball team and attend their games with his family.

 

“We try to go to any games that are near by, whether it is in Natchitoches, Hattiesburg, Miss. or Houston,” he said Summerall, who lives in Pineville, said it is important for students to continue to support their university even after they graduate despite moving somewhere else.

 

“Some people will graduate and go off and support some other school,” he said.

 

Summerall said although recent graduates may not have the money after graduating, they should still try to find a way to support their university.

 

“I think it is important to stay involved in some manner,” he said. “I don’t think it is all about giving back money. It is about giving back time to the university.”

 

He said young alumni could start off by donating a little money to the university.

 

“When you do make lots of money down the road, you have the opportunity to give more,” Summerall said.

 

Richard Crise, another young alumnus, graduated from Tech in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and in 2012 with a master’s degree in sports performance. He said he started donating to the athletic program last year.

 

“Donating to the athletic program will contribute to our facilities,” he said.

 

Crise said recent graduates should try to give back as much as they can. He said one of the facilities he looks forward to from donating is the new weight room in the south end of the field.

 

“I think that it will be a great addition to the university,” he said.

 

Crise said the small donations by recent graduates help to bring in the athletes the athletic programs need through scholarships.

 

“The university starts making more money when it starts winning,” he said.

 

Summerall said he thinks it is important for alumni to not only give back financially to programs such as Tech athletics, but also academically.

 

“I am vice president of the information systems advisory council,” he said.

 

Summerall said the council helps bring real life experience to the students in the College of Business.

 

“It keeps what they are learning in the classroom connected with what is happening in the real world,” Summerall said. “They can add those types of things to the curriculum.”

 

Summerall said donating money to the athletic program brings recognition and attention to Tech.

 

“The value of my degree is as good as the current university,” he said.

 

Email comments to rcj008@latech.edu.

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