- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams donated $500,000 to the university’s scholarship drive yesterday as an appreciation for his days as a Terrapins athlete.

Williams will co-chair the university’s fund-raising campaign, which already has generated $24.8million of its $200million goal. Scholarships will cover both academics and athletics.

“Maryland’s been good to me,” said Williams, a Terps guard from 1965 to 1967. “It works both ways. They gave me a scholarship to come here when I probably couldn’t have gone to college without one. I’ve always appreciated it. It’s getting tougher for everybody [to afford college] so if we can do a good job of raising money for kids who need it, it will help attract top students.”

Maryland president Dan Mote recently said the university needs to be less reliant on state funding, which accounts for nearly one-fourth of its budget. The university raised $81million in public endowments last year, according to the Diamondback student newspaper.

“Raising student scholarships is a top priority for the university for the foreseeable future,” Mote said. “We are very lucky indeed that Coach Williams volunteered to co-chair the campaign to keep a Maryland education affordable. … We could not be happier about Gary Williams stepping up with a personal financial contribution and his leadership of our campaign.”

Williams said a stronger overall university also helps recruit top players nationwide.

“We use the strength of the school,” he said. “There are kids you recruit that it’s important to attend a well-rounded university as well as a good basketball team.”

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