Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

All In for Oberlin Connects Alumni and Athletics


On Wednesday, Oberlin hosted All In for Oberlin, the College’s annual donation day. On the athletics side of the event, 435 donors contributed to different programs, in total donating $190,470 toward Oberlin varsity athletics programs. The swimming and diving team received the most money,  $75,000, while the Heisman Club, an organization dedicated to improving Oberlin athletics as a whole, collected the largest number of individual donors at 78, followed by men’s lacrosse at 56. 

Natalie Winkelfoos, associate vice president for athletics advancement and Delta Lodge director of Athletics & Physical Education, mentioned that many of the donations this year will help build new tennis courts after the old ones had to be destroyed for the construction of a new dorm. 

“This year, some of the fundraising focus was placed on a new outdoor tennis complex (because the construction of the new residence hall impacted our venue),” Winkelfoos wrote in an email to the Review. “Other gifts rolled in without restricted use into the Heisman Club general fund while other donations poured in in support of specific teams.” 

In addition to around $190,000  raised toward athletics, five separate athletics “matches” were also met during the event. Any donor could set up a match, where they agreed to donate a sum of money if a certain donation goal was met. Through these matches, $100,000 dedicated to women’s athletics programs was unlocked, as well as $100,000 toward a special swim and dive project, $100,000 toward a tennis project, $10,000 toward the lacrosse programs, and $10,000 toward the tennis programs. 

Director of Annual Giving Ayla Sweeney was pleased with the results of the event, especially the role that the matches played in the donation numbers. 

“This year’s event was particularly noteworthy due to the increased participation of alumni offering matches and challenges,” Sweeney wrote in an email to the Review. “Their heightened engagement added an extra layer of excitement and motivation, encouraging even more donors to join in and contribute toward our shared goals.”

Head Women’s Soccer Coach Taylor Houck agreed that the day was a success, adding that the amount of donors contributing could also be seen as a representation of the athletics community at Oberlin.

“I was really impressed with how we did,” Houck said. “For us, it’s really cool to see not so much how much money we get but who donates back. … It’s just so sweet to know that our alumni are connected to the school and the program still and just want to stay connected.” 

Sweeney expressed a similar sentiment, noting that All In for Oberlin acts as both a monetary event and an opportunity to foster spirit and connection in the community. 

“In essence, All In For Oberlin is not just about fundraising; it’s about rallying together as a community, and reaffirming our commitment to advancing Oberlin’s mission year after year,” Sweeney wrote. “This achievement not only speaks volumes about the generosity of our alumni and donors but also underscores the enduring spirit of solidarity within the Oberlin College community.”  

Winklefoos echoed the idea. 

“All In also provides moments to mobilize support while building and enhancing the connections we have with student-athletes, alumni, parents, and friends of athletics,” Winklefoos wrote.

Houck added that the fact alumni are interested in donating their money back to their school and their athletics program reflects the emphasis that Oberlin places on giving students a good experience. 

“It says that we care about athletics, and we care about student-athletes, and we care about their experience,” Houck said. 

In that spirit, Houck added that the funds raised for the soccer team, in addition to providing gear and equipment, would go toward “making sure that not only are we competing at a high level, but also that we have some fun out there.” 

Sweeney mentioned that having alumni and donors willing to contribute demonstrates their trust in Oberlin as an institution as well. 

“Each donation is not just a financial contribution but a vote of confidence in the transformative power of an Oberlin education,” Sweeney wrote. “As we continue to build on the success of All In for Oberlin, let’s celebrate the incredible generosity and spirit of camaraderie that define our community.”

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