CHICAGO – The University of Chicago Department of Athletics & Recreation is pleased to announce the creation of the Walter L. Hass Fund for Athletics, made possible by a gift from an anonymous donor. Hass served as UChicago's chair of the Department of Physical Education - Men's Division from 1956 until his retirement in June 1976.
The introduction of the fund marks a significant step as the University's first endowment supporting athletics priorities. The generous gift will enhance and enrich the student-athlete experience and support the vision and mission of Maroon Athletics in perpetuity.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to honor Walter Hass' contributions to the department," said director of athletics and recreation, Erin McDermott. "He was a true teacher-coach and mentor. I think he would be very proud of the current strength of our teams and that we continue to value a holistic approach to education. This fund will be impactful in providing our student-athletes with what they need to perform at their very best and have the positive experiences they will remember for their lifetimes."
The UChicago Athletics & Recreation departmental vision emphasizes "aiming for competitive excellence as we challenge our student-athletes to develop into their best selves as athletes, teammates, students and ultimately, citizens of the world. We are committed to teaching how to work collaboratively to reach performance goals, how to embrace diversity of thought and culture, how to persevere through failure with resiliency, how to compete with integrity."
Walter Hass was instrumental in the reinstatement of football as a varsity sport in 1969. He served as head coach of the Maroons from 1969-75 and had a profoundly positive impact on the lives of many student-athletes. Hass was posthumously inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.
About the Department of Athletics & Recreation at the University of Chicago
UChicago Athletics & Recreation sponsors 20 intercollegiate sports within NCAA Division III (non-scholarship). UChicago competes primarily within the University Athletic Association (UAA), whose membership includes Brandeis University, Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve University, Emory University, New York University, University of Rochester (N.Y.) and Washington University in St. Louis. The Maroons are associate members of the Midwest Conference (MWC) in football and baseball, and the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) in women's lacrosse.
At the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year, UChicago took ninth in the nation among 450 NCAA Division III institutions in the final standings for the Learfield IMG College Directors' Cup – the top placing in school history. The Learfield IMG Directors' Cup utilizes a points system based on each institution's postseason finish in up to 18 sports (nine women's and nine men's). Over the course of 2018-19, the Maroons featured 52 All-Americans, 48 all-region selections, three conference MVPs, four UAA/CCIW Rookies of the Year and 139 all-conference performers.