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LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bill Graham ’62, a member of the Bucknell University Board of Trustees who has committed more than $7.7 million to Bison Athletics, has been named the University Division Donor of the Year by the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD).

Of Graham’s generous gifts, $7.6 million has gone toward the reestablishment of Bucknell’s varsity wrestling program and the enhancement of Bison women’s athletics programs. Graham’s support helped Bucknell become one of the first institutions to find a solution to restoring a wrestling program to varsity status that had previously been reclassified due to Title IX compliance.

Not only did the wrestling team return to the mats in 2006-07, it did so in record-setting fashion as the all-freshman Bison team won a school-record 12 dual meets and qualified three student-athletes – Eric Lapotsky, David Marble and Andy Rendos – for the NCAA Championships. Head coach Dan Wirnsberger has a second straight nationally ranked recruiting class on the way next season.

Banner year
Overall, it was a banner year for women’s sports at Bucknell, as four Bison women’s teams won Patriot League championships and two others won regular-season titles. Bucknell set a league record for margin of victory in winning the Women’s Presidents’ Cup Trophy for the 13th time in 17 years. Bucknell also captured its 13th overall Presidents’ Cup title.

"Bill Graham exemplifies what it means to be a former student-athlete who gives back to those who come after him, and we appreciate the NAADD recognizing the great generosity he has shown the University's athletics programs,” said Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell. “Bill has built a remarkable career, and we appreciate that a person of such character and vision would express this deep confidence in our student-athletes and the exemplary performance they bring to the classroom and the world of college sports."

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Posted May 23, 2007