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February 3, 2022


Just a month into 2022, I am beyond excited for what this calendar year has in store, not only for our student-athletes, but for the wider Northwestern community. During my initial months at Northwestern, I have had the opportunity to meet with so many of our passionate supporters, alumni, and fans, all of whom make this place so special. I look forward to meeting many more of you, as we embark on the journey of elevating what is already a world-class operation to even greater heights.

Beginning with this message, I am going to write to you throughout the year, to keep you abreast of the happenings within Northwestern Athletics and to continually express my sincere gratitude for those of you who have generously supported our mission of positioning more than 500 student-athletes to excel academically, athletically, and in life. While there are many ways to make a positive impact on the young people we serve, building community and raising funds to accomplish our lofty goals are imperative to our success. Thank you for being a partner with us in our quest for comprehensive excellence at Northwestern.

Your annual gift to the Wildcat Fund and your continuous passionate support of our teams as they battle, help us stay ahead of our competition and raise the bar for providing a first-class experience for our student-athletes. I am confident that as we inch closer to normalcy in our everyday lives, we will have more opportunities to come together in person and to celebrate our successes over the past year. In the coming months, we would love to see you at a “We Will” campaign event across the country, at Wildcat Fund donor events, or at a competition on campus or on the road. My team and I welcome the opportunity to introduce ourselves and to continue to build meaningful relationships within our Northwestern community.

Because of you, Northwestern maintains its profile as a top-tier institution in all facets of athletics and higher education, and your continued generosity and investment will be the catalyst to keep us trending upwards. I am honored to lead this department and to serve Northwestern!

Below, are just some points of pride that we have experienced over the past six months, as well as information on changes inside our Department.

B1G Wins

Ryan Family Makes Largest Gift in Northwestern History

The Ryan Family has been synonymous with Northwestern for decades, and even though their past support has been transformational, the announcement of their most recent gift and what it will do for so many at Northwestern for years to come is truly hard to describe.

Northwestern Topples Liberty to Field Hockey Win National Championship
There are many ways to measure success in what we do, but nothing brings greater adulation and a sense of accomplishment than winning a national championship!

'Cats Shine in Latest Graduation Success Rate Report
Another important measure of success at Northwestern is graduating our student-athletes and setting them up for life after Northwestern, and we continue to set the gold standard in both of those areas.

Eighth Class of Kabiller Award Winners Announced
The David G. Kabiller NU for Life Program is the perfect example of how philanthropy and community can come together to enhance the Northwestern experience for our most dedicated student-athletes.


One of the most important factors to ensuring our daily mission is achieved, is to have the right people in place. I am incredibly proud of the experienced and forward-thinking leaders who already served in our department, and I am thrilled with the recent additions to our executive team. Please take a moment and click on the links below to learn more about a few of our senior leaders.

Wildcats Welcome Marks As Deputy A.D. For Development
Monique Holland Named Deputy A.D./Chief Of Staff
Tyler Jones Joins 'Cats As Senior Associate A.D. for External Operations
O'Rourke Elevated to Associate AD - Academic Services & Student Development

Call to Action

As I mentioned earlier, the support from our community is one of the most important pieces of our upward trajectory. If you have yet to renew your gift to the Wildcat Excellence Fund, please consider renewing your support online today. If you have any questions or would prefer to work directly with one of our outstanding Wildcat Fund staff members, you may contact them at or via phone at (847) 467-4321.

Thank you again for all you have done, and I hope we can count on you to stay involved!


Dr. Gragg's signature

Dr. Derrick Gragg
Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation
Northwestern University