Longtime Gaucho women's basketball supporters Renee Trenholm and Susan Romero have made a $1 million dollar commitment to the program, it was announced by Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mark W. Massari.
The gift is the largest for the women's program in its history.
"We can't thank Renee and Susan enough for this gift and for their loyalty and being a positive part of so many lives since they fell in love with our storied program," said Massari. "Their gift will impact future generations of Gauchos."
This past year, lead by first-year head coach Carlene Mitchell a longtime assistant to C. Vivan Stringer at Rutgers, the Gauchos appeared in their 14th NCAA tournament and captured their 12th Big West title. Since 1991, when the program was revitalized by UCSB Athletics Hall of Famer Mark French, the program has appeared in postseason 18 times, including 14 NCAA Tournaments, and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in 2004.
The following article appeared on the Trenholm/Romero gift recently published issue in DARE, the official magazine of UCSB Athletics.
Susan Romero and Renee Trenholm know all about it. They have watched Heart play on the Thunderdome hardwood before it was the thing to do. They have traveled the country watching Gaucho Heart take on the best in the NCAA.
"There have been a lot of fun times -- those early games when victories came on tough defense and sheer will and heart, winning games that they probably shouldn't have won; road trips all over the country, some to places we would have never visited were it not for basketball," said Trenholm. "The European trip, the first NCAA tournament victory, at the Thunderdome against Houston; the incredible effort at Stanford in the NCAA second round when the Gauchos finished with four on the floor; the Sweet Sixteen journey; and especially, the lifelong friendships that have developed because of our involvement with the program."
And the longtime Gaucho fans have decided, with all of their Heart, that their involvement with the program will continue long after they do with the announcement of the "Trenholm-Romero Legacy Fund for Women's Basketball." The planned gift of $1-million will be an endowment to support the women's basketball program.
"Though I've never been involved in athletics myself, I somehow managed to get caught up in the excitement of UCSB Women's Basketball. Going to games, meeting so many wonderful friends, and interacting with the athletes and coaching staffs has given me a lot of pleasure as well as helped me through some difficult times," added Romero. "I feel it's important to continue supporting this program in the stands as well as financially and I'm glad we are able to do so. Giving back to this program is the right thing to do. It enables the University to continue to maintain a first-rate program and enables these young women to move into their future lives armed with an education, life experiences and desire to be their best selves."
"Basketball has always been a part of my life in one way or another. With UCSB Women's Basketball I've found a way to keep my connection to the game I love. Basketball has given me a lot and I am now in a position to help others learn about life through this great game," Trenholm said. "It is imperative that we pass on the tradition of women's sports and grow the opportunities available for girls and young women. Why wouldn't I jump at the chance to give back and help others experience all that the sport at the college level has to give?
Through the Gaucho Fund, there are a number of ways to give and support the amazing coaches and student-athletes who compete on the court, in the classroom and give back to our community.
"It is important to contribute to those causes you find worthy and give you a passion. For me, giving to UCSB Women's Basketball is more than just supporting student-athletes, though that is certainly important," adds Trenholm. "Clearly, my financial gift to the program goes beyond the Athletic Department. These young women and their coaches volunteer in the greater Santa Barbara community, expanding anything I could accomplish on my own. It is the best ripple effect I could imagine."
If you, or someone you know, is interested in making a gift to Athletics through the Gaucho Fund, please contact Andy Fee: firstname.lastname@example.org