Family makes generous pledge to UT women’s basketball program

March 3, 2016 | Athletics, News
By Brian DeBenedictis

The University of Toledo women’s basketball program has a rich tradition. The Rockets have won nine Mid-American Conference regular-season titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament on seven occasions.

UT is also the only MAC basketball program to capture a national postseason tournament, winning the 2011 Postseason WNIT.

Head Basketball Coach Tricia Cullop, left, and Christine Spengler

Head Basketball Coach Tricia Cullop, left, and Christine Spengler

On Wednesday, the rich just got richer. The Midnight Blue and Gold’s successful history and bright future played a vital role in Christine and William Spengler’s decision to donate $100,000 to the program, one of the largest planned gifts in women’s basketball history.

“We’re extremely grateful for the generosity of the Spengler family,” Head Coach Tricia Cullop said. “Having spent time on the board with Chris for Women & Philanthropy, I witnessed just how generous she is with her time. Chris is always finding ways to help others. She’s an incredible role model for my players, and I can’t thank Chris and Bill enough for thinking of UT women’s basketball. Their planned gift will help our program continue to grow for many years to come.”

The Spenglers gifted $100,000 to the UT Foundation to create a charitable gift annuity. This arrangement will provide them with an annual income from the fund and a charitable tax deduction, as well as the satisfaction of knowing the women’s basketball program will benefit from their generosity after their lifetimes.

“Bill and I have been so impressed with the direction of the program and the dedication from Coach Cullop,” said Chris, who works at UT as the director of advancement relations. “It’s a joy to watch the Rockets play, and we wanted to be a part of the process of continuing to build and enhance that program well into the future. We believe in giving back, and we’re happy we found ourselves in a position to make a gift.”

The Spenglers have long been affiliated with Rocket athletics; they have club seats for both men’s and women’s basketball, and are stadium club members for football.

“We sincerely appreciate the support we have received from Chris and Bill over the years at UT,” said Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs Dave Nottke. “Their generosity and support will benefit our women’s basketball program for years to come.”

For more information about making a donation to UT Athletics, call the Athletic Development Office at 419.530.2510.

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