Stephen and Ayesha Curry Investment Unlocks Opportunity, Promotes Equity in Women’s Sports
Stephen and Ayesha Curry are creating a scholarship endowment to elevate women’s athletics at Davidson College. Their gift seeds a women’s athletics scholarship fund and encourages other donors—an important step toward building the kind of support for women’s teams that can make Davidson a leader in equity across collegiate athletics.
The Curry Family Women’s Athletics Initiative champions Davidson’s 10 women’s athletics programs, starting just a few months after Stephen Curry, a Davidson alum, called out the NCAA for a lack of parity in women’s sports.
“The Currys’ gift and vision provide an unprecedented push forward for Davidson Athletics and our exceptional scholar-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Chris Clunie ’06. “This gift and additional support of the initiative will raise our competitiveness and open up our educational and athletic experiences to more young women. Beyond Davidson, the Currys are sending an important message about addressing the broad inequity in women’s athletics and the importance of unlocking opportunities today and into the future. Davidson aims to lead in this space and build solutions to these issues on our own campus.”
Stephen Curry wrote three years ago of how the fight for women’s equality had grown “a little more personal” as he and Ayesha raise two young daughters: Riley, 9, and Ryan, 6, along with their three-year-old son, Canon W. Jack Curry. Stephen’s voice on the topic has grown louder since, especially through his Underrated Tour for both young men and women, his unique brand partnerships that speak to women’s empowerment, and Stephen’s and Ayesha’s foundation work with Eat. Learn. Play.
Davidson, where Curry led his team to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament, trails its Atlantic 10 competitors in women’s athletics scholarships. The college has the equivalent of 24.96 scholarships across all women’s teams, with 13 committed to women’s basketball. The NCAA maximum for these programs is 105. The Currys’ initiative, with gifts from others, is intended to move the college forward in its path of doing athletics right and, as Clunie often says, doing more with more.
More than 200 female scholar-athletes represent the Wildcats in competition, in the classroom and in the community. Since the enactment of Title IX in 1972, Davidson has won nine regular season and 20 conference tournament titles in women’s sports.
“As a father of two girls, I want them to grow up knowing there are no limitations around what they can accomplish,” Stephen said. “I encourage Davidson alums, families and friends to join us as we create more equitable funding across all Wildcat athletics programs. The hope is that our contributions, together, will foster an unbiased, more equitable society that leads to a better world.”
A Title IX report released by the NCAA in 2017 spotlighted how Division I institutions have the greatest gap in spending between men’s and women’s athletic programs. Analysis of median expenses indicated that Division I athletic departments are spending twice as much on their men’s programs than on their women’s programs.
In addition to providing scholarship support and direct resources, the Curry Family Women’s Athletics Initiative aims to inspire a network of Wildcats who will help enhance development and mentorship opportunities for scholar-athlete leaders, leading to lasting impact in their communities and around the world.
“Stephen and his family exemplify Davidson’s core values, and this gift is another extraordinary example of how their creativity, drive and convictions serve the common good,” said Davidson College President Carol E. Quillen. “Our scholar-athletes are incredible people, balancing high-level competition with high-level academics, and they leave Davidson prepared to make a difference in the world. This gift will go a very long way, both at Davidson and for college athletics. We are deeply grateful for the Curry family’s commitment to our programs and to this critical, national conversation.”
Davidson alums and supporters can make an immediate impact on the experience of current and future women scholar-athletes by contributing to the Curry Family Women’s Athletics Initiative. Gifts can be made directly to the Curry Family Fund, or individuals may create a new endowed scholarship for women’s athletics. Gifts can also be designated to support a single women’s sport.
To learn more about the Curry Family Women’s Athletics Initiative and how you can support equity in women’s sports through gifts to Davidson College, contact Brandon McCladdie, director of athletic development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-894-2657.
- August 26, 2021