Jerry Bugliosi was looking for a way to give back. So Bugliosi, a longtime University of North Dakota fan and suiteholder at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, asked the coaches.
The answer was easy. There is a need for summer school scholarships.
Bugliosi challenged his suitemates at the REA to donate $50 each to go toward a summer school scholarship.
"The theory behind it," Bugliosi says, "is let's get a bunch of people giving something you can afford, pooling your money and making an impact."
With 23 seats in the suite, that's a quick $1,150 to go toward scholarships. With 50 suites in the Ralph Engelstad Arena, those numbers could multiply if each suite followed Bugliosi's lead.
"Instead of giving thousands and thousands, we can pool groups together and just give $50, $75 or $100," Bugliosi said. "We can make a significant impact on the University."
"Every dollar makes a difference," says Steve Brekke, the UND Athletics Associate Athletics Director for Development. "When you start adding up those small dollars together, it can grow very quickly."
Men's hockey coach Dave Hakstol says the need for summer school has changed from 10-15 years ago.
"Now summer school is an absolute great tool for our students to manage their schedule and attain a degree in four years," Hakstol said.
Every UND sport is being impacted. Women's hockey coach Brian Idalski said more student-athletes are choosing to stay at UND to take classes and train during the summer. And at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, the men's and women's basketball teams have installed displays to recognize former student-athletes and friends of the program. Those donations have direct impact on summer school scholarships.
"I just hope that this inspires some other people to give," Bugliosi said. "The amount is palatable, and hopefully we can make a big impact on the University, all the sports teams and student-athletes."
To donate to UND athletics, or to find out more information about scholarships, contact Steve Brekke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701.777.6426.