January 26, 2007

Longtime CSUN Supporters Donate Nearly $100,000 For Athlete's Scholarship


Longtime CSUN Supporters Donate Nearly $100,000 For Athlete's Scholarship

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Longtime Cal State Northridge sports enthusiasts Jim and Mary Gorman have donated $98,000 to the university to support a scholarship for outstanding student athletes.

Their latest gift brings their total contributions to the Jim and Mary Gorman Athletic Scholarship Endowment to $210,000.

"We are grateful for the generosity of Jim and Mary Gorman regarding the provision of scholarship monies for our student athletes," said CSUN Athletics Director Rick Mazzuto. "Jim and Mary's commitment to Cal State Northridge athletics has been exemplary. They are true friends of the university and its students."

A Jim and Mary Gorman Athletic Scholarship will be awarded annually to a student athlete with a grade point average of 3.2 or higher during the prior two semesters. A preference will be given to members of the university's tennis team, which holds a soft spot in the Gormans' hearts. The first scholarship will be awarded later this year.

It was Matador volleyball that first brought the Gormans into the Northridge community. It was the 1990s. The university's athletics program had just entered NCAA Division I and the Gormans were curious about the teams.

"We fell in love, and have been following the teams ever since," said Jim Gorman, a retired engineer with Hughes Aircraft.

The Gormans started with volleyball, but their interest in Matadors sports spread to tennis a couple years later when Jim retired and took up the sport himself. Eventually, their passion for Matador sports encompassed all the teams.

Their commitment to CSUN athletics led Jim Gorman to take on formal leadership positions as president of the Matador Athletic Association.

On his own initiative, Jim Gorman created the first Matador fan e-mail list-serve to promote attendance at games, and Mary Gorman was instrumental in creating informal recycling awareness efforts at Matador athletic events.

Though neither Jim nor Mary Gorman attended CSUN, both are members of the university' Alumni Association. Jim Gorman even serves on the association's board. The pair was recognized earlier this year at the Alumni Association's annual Volunteer Service Awards luncheon for their tireless support of the university's sports programs.

"Cal State Northridge is the university of the San Fernando Valley," Jim Gorman said. "We live in the San Fernando Valley and we believe in and support the university."

Northridge tennis coach Gary Victor said he was touched by the Gormans' generosity.

"Jim and Mary have always been an incredible example of selflessness and consideration for others, particular our student athletes," Victor said. "They're there at nearly all the games--cheering the players on and offering words of encouragement. They also have, by their example, reminded the athletes and coaches of our responsibility to others, particularly the environment, by picking up the plastic bottles after the games to make sure they are recycled.

"But to take their selflessness one step further and create a scholarship endowment for our student athletes, I don't know what to say except 'Wow!' " Victor said. "I can't tell you how touched I am or how much this means to our students."

Mazzuto noted that the Gormans have set a standard which will hopefully lead to similar gifts in the coming years.

Cal State Northridge's NCAA Division I-AAA athletics program supports about 400 student-athletes and 20 intercollegiate teams, nine for men and 11 for women. Most of Northridge's teams compete in the California-based Big West Conference. During the recent 2005-2006 season, Northridge athletics won Big West Conference championships in men's soccer and women's outdoor track and field. The program had three teams end their seasons with Top 20 national rankings: men's volleyball (8th), men's soccer (13th), and women's water polo (18th). The men's soccer team also qualified the 2005 NCAA National Championship Tournament and advanced to the "Sweet 16" round.

California State University, Northridge has 34,500 full- and part-time students and offers 62 bachelor's and 50 master's degrees as well as 28 teaching credential programs. Founded in 1958, CSUN is among the largest single-campus universities in the nation and the only four-year public university in the San Fernando Valley. The university serves as the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Valley and beyond.

- GO MATADORS -

View: Mobile | Desktop | Text-Only Website