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Tartan Alum Paul Hamerly Establishes Endowed Fund for Men's Basketball

Tartan Alum Paul Hamerly Establishes Endowed Fund for Men's Basketball

(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) - On the heels of its first NCAA tournament appearance in 15 years, and as the program prepares to move into a new state-of-the-art venue, the Carnegie Mellon Men's Basketball program has even more reason to celebrate. Former Tartan standout Paul Hamerly (TPR '77, '79) has made a lead gift to establish the Hamerly Fund for Men's Basketball, which will become the program's first endowment fund.

"There has never been more excitement regarding the future of Carnegie Mellon Men's Basketball, and I am incredibly grateful for Paul's commitment and vision," said Director of Athletics Josh Centor. "We aspire to be one of the most competitive programs in the nation, and perpetual resources from an endowed fund to support student experience is a monumental step forward."

The Hamerly Fund will provide general support specifically for the men's basketball program. It will be used to expand the non-conference travel radius, to enhance program-specific technology, and to support prospective student-athlete recruiting. As the fund grows, increased staffing for the program will be a consideration.

"We are hopeful that Paul's fellow alumni will respond to his call and support the endowed fund during the special time for Carnegie Mellon Men's Basketball," Centor said. "There are a number of strategic priorities for our program that we hope to move on in the coming years, and the growth of the Hamerly Fund will make that possible."

The Carnegie Mellon Athletics Department launched its strategic plan last summer and highlighted the need to add endowed funds as a short-term focus. This year, the program has added funds for track and field, cross country, women's golf and now men's basketball. The strategic plan goal focuses on the need to ensure every intercollegiate sport has an endowed fund.

"I would encourage basketball alumni to join me in adding to this endowment. What makes this different is that funds donated will be invested for the long term whereby only the interest will be used for year-to-year support," Hamerly said. "In this way, we help the program in perpetuity. Any amount would be welcome, and amounts can be added over time as well. Let's assure we remain nationally competitive."

Hamerly, who has served as a member of the Tartan Athletics Club Board of Directors, has been a champion of student experience at Carnegie Mellon for years. In addition to his generous gift to establish an endowed fund for men's basketball, Hamerly penned a poem to express his admiration and ambitions for the Tartans.

A standout high school basketball player from nearby Penn Hills, Hamerly matriculated to Carnegie Mellon in 1973 and joined a men's program that had found limited success during the past few years. During Hamerly's freshman season, the Tartans finished with three wins.

With Hamerly leading the way, the Tartans turned things around and won a Presidents' Athletic Conference title in 1977, achieving a Top 10 ranking in Division III. He went onto play professionally in Belgium before beginning his career with Beecham, Heinz and Nestle, and later as an entrepreneur. Hamerly launched Kitchen Basics and established the soup stock category, which was a superior product to existing broth competition on the market. The company was the first to offer an all-natural product and utilize shelf-stable Tetra Pak cartons. Kitchen Basics was the only line to obtain certification by the American Heart Association. In 2011, Hamerly sold Kitchen Basics to spice maker McCormick & Co.

"Paul has experienced great success during his career, and he has always given back to his Tartans with his time, talent and treasure," Centor said. "The Hamerly Fund for Men's Basketball will ensure that his impact is felt for generations to come."

In August, the athletics program will move into the new Highmark Center for Health, Wellness and Athletics. The facility will offer a new competitive gymnasium with a videoboard, as well as a practice gymnasium. The Highmark Center will also offer a new varsity weight room, sports medicine suite, student-athlete lounge and team locker rooms. Historic Skibo Gym will become a modified fieldhouse.

"With the addition of our new facility, and the establishment of the Hamerly Fund, there are no barriers to our success," said head men's basketball coach Tony Wingen. "We are grateful to Paul, and excited to engage the rest of our community. The future has never been brighter."

Individuals who would like to make a contribution to the Hamerly Fund can do so on the department website, or contact Associate Director of Athletic Development Matt McCamley.