The Cal Poly golf program just came into possession of a whole lot of cash. $10.188 million donation from alumnus Bill Swanson is the single largest athletics donation in school history. It is also among the largest donations to any collegiate golf program in history.
The charitable gift was given by Swanson and his wife, Cheryl. The former chairman of Raytheon Company, Swanson and his wife are the second family in less than a year to give a sizable gift to the golf team. In May, local golf enthusiasts Michael and Sammy Pineau gave $1.1 million to the program.
While attending Cal Poly as an industrial engineering student, Bill Swanson played under a partial scholarship for the Cal Poly golf team. Swanson pursued a career in the defense industry post-graduation, eventually working his way up to CEO of Raytheon in 2004.
The money will go a long way for both the Mustangs’ men’s and women’s squads. With greater financial resources, Cal Poly can compete in some of the NCAA’s premier events and offer more full scholarships to potential student-athletes. The publicity stemming from the donation will foreseeably help the recruiting efforts of the up-and-coming program.
The men’s golf team finished fifth out of 17 teams in its last tournament, the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational in Kauai. The women’s team last finished second out of 11 teams in the Lady Mustang Invitational in October and will open the spring season in February.