Home » Texas A&M University-Commerce’s Night With Champions Sets Record Support for Student-Athlete Scholarships and Wellness in Second Year

Texas A&M University-Commerce’s Night With Champions Sets Record Support for Student-Athlete Scholarships and Wellness in Second Year




Texas A&M University-Commerce’s second annual Night With Champions – dedicated to raising funds for summer school scholarships and student wellness – has once again generated record philanthropic revenue for the continued success of Lion student-athletes.

An astounding $99,390 was generated from table donations, special scholarship gifts, bucket bidding, silent/live auction proceeds, and Lion Champions Fund support.

“Thank you to everyone who made this event an exciting celebration of our student-athletes’ success and an impactful fundraiser enhancing their “Best in Class” experience. The support of our table sponsors and donors will continue to directly impact Lion student-athletes and contribute to their success as students, athletes, and community members,” said Taylor Phelps, Associate Athletics Director for Resource Development

Best in Class food offerings were once again provided by presenting sponsor Sodexo for those in attendance and Intercollegiate Athletics received tremendous assistance from multiple departments on campus, including the Rayburn Student Center.

“This event once again affirmed that it could not be more appropriately named,” said director of athletics Tim McMurray. “Bringing our Champion partners from campus, our alumni base, and region together to celebrate our Best in Class student-athletes and invest in their academic and well-being.  That is what championship programs do.”

National Champion partners for the night were KarolAnn and Chris DeLong, Ford Family Auto of Commerce, Texas A&M University–Commerce Office of the President, Rene’ Griffin, Dr. John and Gail Humphreys, and Lion Head Football Coach David Bailiff.

“This event is a celebration of our student-athletes and their exceptional accomplishments,” A&M-Commerce President Mark Rudin noted during the event.  “However, it is also a time to celebrate our tremendous coaches for all of our sports programs.  I commend them as leaders, as counselors, as mentors, and as visionaries for their programs.  We are fortunate to have the opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge their accomplishments.”

The 2020 Night With Champions date will be announced in the coming weeks.

Ford Family Auto, Karol Ann and Chris DeLong, Texas A&M University-Commerce Office of the President, Rene’ Griffin, Dr. John and Gail Humphreys, and Lion Head Football Coach David Bailiff.

Athletic Supply, Debby and Buddie Barnes, Hulsey Therapy Services, Texas Book Company, Vickie and Tim McMurray

Anita and Bobby Bounds, Sue Davis, Lion Tailgaters

“Karol Ann and I are so happy to have recently completed our personal move back to Commerce and are blessed to aid the efforts behind the recent Night with Champions fundraising event. Providing our student athletes with a quality summer school experience creates a very real point of difference for the Lions and a tangible advantage versus the balance of the Lone Star Conference across all sports. It’s our hope and vision that more personal donors will match our level of giving for future events to enable even more students to participate in their worthwhile venture.” – Chris DeLong

“Attending the Night with Champions Banquet was a remarkable experience. To see how much Texas A&M-Commerce cares for their students is breathtaking. Donating to a cause that we know goes back to your student body is what Ford Family Auto cares about and will continue to do so in the future.” – Chris Ford

“What better way to spend a Friday evening than being surrounded by friends, business associates, faculty members, administrators, coaches, and student-athletes, all celebrating an excellent year of sports competition?  Add to that the additional benefit of helping these student-athletes succeed while at A&M-Commerce, and it was a fantastic event.  Sign me up for next year…” – Rene’ Griffin

“Night with Champions is not only an exciting spring event that raises funds to support our student-athletes, but it is truly an eye opening event of just how impressive our student-athletes are at A&M-Commerce. In only the second year it is a can’t miss event for myself and I heard similar testaments from other Lion fans throughout the evening!” – Alicia Currin, Vice President for Business and Administration/CFO, Texas A&M-Commerce

“Our Lion student-athletes are without a doubt a phenomenal group of students in the classroom, in competition, and in life. The opportunity to support them at an exciting celebratory event is not only a fun evening of fellowship, but a rewarding experience knowing that we can help them have a unique educational experience!” – Dr. John Humphreys, Provost, Texas A&M-Commerce

“Night with Champions is an event that not only helps raise funds for scholarships and programs for our student-athletes that are integral for success, but is fun and exciting for our fans, alumni, and supporters. I hope we can continue to grow this event, so more student-athletes can stay in Commerce over the summer to work towards their degree and prepare to win championships. Thank you to everyone that made that night possible!” – David Bailiff, Head Football Coach, Texas A&M-Commerce




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