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Volleyball Scholarships From a Game-Changing Friend

(l-r)Emily Franklin '17, Sam Thompson '19, Tim Bien, Mikayla Derochie '17
(l-r)Emily Franklin '17, Sam Thompson '19, Tim Bien, Mikayla Derochie '17

Tim Bien first connected with the Davidson Volleyball program when a childhood friend's daughter became an assistant coach. Through this relationship, he started attending games, meeting the players and coaches, and, very soon after, wanted to know what he could do to help.

When his contributions began, he wanted Head Coach Chris Willis to do something nice for the team. They were able to get nicer uniforms thanks to his generosity, and for several years, he has sponsored the athletes' gifts given each year at the season-ending banquet. 

"I've always wanted to do something for the team members that they wouldn't have otherwise," said Bien. "I really admire the players and coaches; they're wonderful human beings. Sometimes, it's easy to become cynical, but this group really renews my faith in the future."

Recently, Bien decided to make a significant gift to the program in support of scholarships. While not a specific gift for each player, scholarships will enhance the competitive advantage of the program overall. The Game Changers Volleyball Scholarship will make a Davidson education and scholar athlete experience possible for students who otherwise may not be able to choose Davidson.

"The discipline and effort these girls put in in order to be successful as students and athletes at Davidson is incredible," he said. "I really admire that, and they will become better adults because of their experiences at Davidson. If a person tries hard to learn and is honorable, they've got most of life already beat. I'm pleased to help make this distinct opportunity available to more students."

One reason Bien has maintained his support of the program, even after his family connection left Davidson to become a head coach in Georgia, is the respect he has for Willis.

"Chris treats his players in a way that makes them love him, and it makes him a great coach," said Bien. "His primary interest is in each and every player. He earns their loyalty, and he's an all-around good person."

"Tim has added a great deal to our program, not only through his financial gifts but also through friendship," said Willis. "He has formed enduring, meaningful relationships with every person associated with Davidson Volleyball. Scholarships are the single most important need for the program as we move forward, and Tim's generosity will make a lasting difference for the team and for outstanding scholar athletes who are interested in Davidson."