Indiana State University Newsroom

‘Elevate - The Campaign for Sycamore Athletics’ launched

May 19, 2017

Indiana State University Director of Athletics Sherard Clinkscales announced Friday, May 19 that he and the staff of the Indiana State Sycamore Athletic Fund, have launched "Elevate - The Campaign For Sycamore Athletics." This is the first-of-its-kind athletics-only fundraising campaign in the history of the department.

Indiana State Athletics has identified key fundraising projects that will address immediate needs and create lasting hallmarks for the program. Donor support of "Elevate" is critical to the development of all Sycamore student-athletes and will have a direct impact beginning with the 2017-18 academic year.

"By elevating the resources available to our student-athletes and coaches, we will ensure Indiana State's ability to compete for MVC and NCAA championships," Clinkscales said. "This is a long-term commitment with numerous upgrades and improvements slated over the next several years. These enhancements will augment the progress made over the last decade. ‘Elevate - The Campaign For Sycamore Athletics' will provide an additional $600,000 in support of Indiana State Athletics. To achieve this goal, we must rally behind our teams, coaches and most importantly, our student-athletes."

"Elevate" has four main areas targeted for implementation or improvement during this first phase of the department's vision. Areas that will be directly impacted by "Elevate" are the addition of a Sports Performance Center and Nutrition Station, implementation of a Sycamore Fuel Initiative (Meals), improvements to the Sycamore Football Offices and Players' Lounge and the addition of the Sycamore Track & Field and Cross Country Office Interactive Display.

"For us, building a championship culture starts now," Clinkscales said. "The commitment to raising the bar for Sycamore Athletics is shared by our university, our teams and our most loyal former athletes and fans. That is why Indiana State has earmarked $2 million in funding to support these projects and upgrades. To complete the first phase of this vision, donor support is just as essential."

"This campaign is focused on providing valuable resources for all student-athletes and giving our teams an edge in recruiting and building talent," said Jeremiah Turner, director of the Sycamore Athletic Fund. "A new Sports Performance Center and Nutrition Station, upgraded football offices and players' lounge and an interactive cross-country and track and field display are crucial projects sure to put Sycamore Athletics on a trajectory for future success."


At the core of Indiana State Athletics and fundamental to each student-athlete's development is the Strength and Conditioning program. The new Sports Performance Center will provide a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to improving individual and team performance and serve as common ground for cultivating an atmosphere focused on competition and discipline combined with an emphasis on proper nutrition. This program enhancement is an important regimen for Sycamore student-athletes to grow into their bodies and reach peak potential. The Nutrition Station will set a new standard within the MVC and provide our student-athletes with essential refueling before and after workouts.

"Competing and contending for championships is what all of our programs strive for," Sycamore Basketball head coach Greg Lansing said. "It's very competitive in recruiting student athletes. Our focus is on giving our student athletes the very best chance to get better and succeed. Integral to providing this to them is our Sports Performance Center. I can't put into words how important this project is to us... but I think all of our programs will show results in wins."

What our student-athletes are eating matters to their overall performance. To better serve all Sycamore student-athletes, the Nutrition Station will be housed within the Sports Performance Center and stocked with nutritious food throughout the year. We anticipate the cost to supply our teams with essential, healthy food items will be $40,000 annually.


We all know eating a balanced diet helps further overall health and fitness goals. At Indiana State, we are committed to making sure our student-athletes have access to balanced meals year-round. The NCAA recently lifted restrictions on how much and how often Division I schools can feed college athletes. The Sycamore Fuel Initiative is an opportunity for each of our teams to benefit from additional healthy meals both in and out of season.

"The importance of proper nutrition and consistent dietary habits cannot be overstated," women's soccer head coach Julie Hanley said. "I'm pleased that ISU continues to be committed to enhancing the athletic performance and long-term health and well-being of student athletes. This incentive will contribute to our goal of winning championships and providing our athletes with the very best resources needed to do so."

Together, the Nutrition Station and Sycamore Fuel Initiative, ensure student-athletes get optimum nourishment on a regular basis. Support of this fund directly and immediately benefits the physical wellness of our student-athletes and maximizes their potential for success both athletically and academically.


Indiana State Head Coach Curt Mallory has set clear expectations for his team-win the MVFC and earn a degree from the University. Upgrading the football offices and players' lounge is essential to helping our coaching staff build a results-driven culture. The renovated space will provide a place on campus for our team to watch film, study, meet with coaches, and build the type of special bond among teammates that extends beyond the field. This facility will be a dynamic addition to our program that will impact recruiting and set the tone for Indiana State football-a top-caliber NCAA Division I FCS team.


Track anf field and cross-country have experienced an unparalleled level of success at Indiana State. Capturing more than half of our school's conference titles, the team and individual accomplishments of these programs are truly impressive. These feats are the result of consistent leadership by devoted coaches.

The interactive display-conceptualized by Rich Porter, a member of the 1974-77 Track and Field team, and his wife Robin-pays tribute to the student-athletes and coaches that have built the tradition of excellence exemplified by Indiana State Cross Country and Track and Field. In addition to the four initiatives that are being introduced as part of the Elevate campaign, Indiana State University has committed additional budgetary support to ensure athletic resources of our teams' needs and improve the fan experience.


The University's investment will fund the installation of a six-lane straightaway inside the Athletics Annex Practice Facility. It will have a state-of-the-art surface equivalent to that used at the first-class Gibson Track and Field Complex. Because the Athletics Annex is a multi-purpose facility utilized by?all teams for conditioning of student-athletes, this project will not only benefit Indiana State Track and Field, but all of our programs. This addition will allow adequate training space during the fall and winter months, as well as provide a home base and warm-up area for all teams during Indiana State hosted outdoor meets.


Indiana State University is making substantial upgrades at Memorial Stadium. As the home facility for our football & women's soccer programs, Memorial Stadium is the primary destination for Sycamore alumni and fans during the fall sports season.

For the 2017 season, the University is replacing the lights at Memorial Stadium to enhance the student-athlete and fan experience. Our women's soccer program primarily plays night games and this investment will improve player safety and performance. The new lights will also allow us to host a night football game for the first time in seven seasons. The 2017 season opener against Eastern Illinois on August 31 will kick-off under the lights ushering in the Curt Mallory era of Sycamore Football.

The facility improvements will continue in 2018 with the complete replacement and upgrade of the playing field at Memorial Stadium. This million-dollar investment features new turf because the existing surface has sustained substantial wear and tear over the years and is in need of replacement.

To make a gift or learn more about Elevate - The Campaign for Sycamore Athletics, contact the Sycamore Athletic Fund at 812.237.6134.

All gifts to the campaign are managed through the Sycamore Athletic Fund, the official fundraising entity for Indiana State Athletics. Eighty percent of all philanthropic donations to Athletics directly benefit the program, teams or other initiatives as designated by the donor. A portion of support to Indiana State Athletics is allocated for the purpose of donor engagement and other benefits provided through the Sycamore Athletic Fund (10 percent) and standard ISU Foundation gift processing fees associated with giving to Indiana State University (10 percent).


Media contact: Ace Hunt, or 812-237-4161