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Posted on June 20, 2014 | 9:26 p.m.

UCSB Athletics Receives $1 Million Commitment from Tropicana Student Living

Source: Dave Wilcox for Tropicana Student Living

Tropicana Student Living and UCSB Athletics announced a $1 million commitment to the school's Intercollegiate Athletics program Friday.

The gift from Tropicana Student Living, a gift intention made through the Gaucho Fund to be paid over several years, will be part of The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara, the university's comprehensive campaign approaching $1 billion to benefit university programs, students, faculty and staff.

"We have long appreciated the enormous effort that UCSB Athletics' coaches and players have done to excel at their sport and reach out to our UCSB students as well as the youth in the local Santa Barbara community," said Kent Dunn, managing principal of Tropicana Student Living. "Through our daily work with the university, we have become aware of plans that are actively underway to enhance several UCSB Athletic facilities."

"We are so appreciative of this commitment from Tropicana Student Living and their part in the success of our programs and student-athletes," said Mark Massari, director of UCSB Athletics.

The Tropicana Student Living gift of $100,000 for the 2013-14 year, the first of their commitment of annual gifts at the same amount, will bring the Gauchos to over $2.2 million in funds raised — one of the most successful fundraising years in UCSB Athletics' history. The initial gift will directly support needs of the baseball program, including the planned Gaucho Park entry plaza. Subsequent year contributions will provide broad-based support to all 20 intercollegiate programs at the discretion of the athletic director.

Tropicana Student Living operates privately-owned residence halls and apartments for students attending UCSB and other local education institutions. Situated on the western edge of campus with a diverse community of undergraduate students, Tropicana Del Norte is a residence hall well known for its comfortable suite-style units, unlimited meal plan and resort-style amenities, while Tropicana Villas is an academically focused apartment community catering to upperclassmen. The Official Student Housing sponsor of UCSB Athletics, Tropicana Student Living also hosts more than 90 summer camps annually and has been the summer home of Michael Jordan's Flight School since 1995.

"Tropicana communities provide a living environment that supports a successful transition from home to independent living and academic success by following a wellness model that encompasses the physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual and environmental elements of student life and growth," said Dave Wilcox, Tropicana's executive director. "Our management team, most of whom live on site, works closely with campus officials to ensure that our community policies are consistent with campus missions and policies."

"Tropicana's student residents — athletes and nonathletes alike — are outstanding in every way," Dunn said. "They are talented and hard-working and reflect the greatness of a world-class institution. We are grateful for the opportunity to be partnered with UCSB to serve them."

UCSB student-athletes have an 85 percent NCAA graduation success rate — second highest within the University of California system. UCSB is one of only 62 members of the distinguished Association of American Universities. The university's 450 student-athletes compete across 20 NCAA Division I sports.

To make a donation to UCSB Athletics, click here or call Andy Fee, senior associate athletics director for development, at 805.893.4960. For more information about Tropicana Student Living, call Wilcox at 805.968.4319.

— Dave Wilcox is executive director of Tropicana Student Living.

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