$4 Million Bequest Provides New Support for Colgate Athletics

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MacDonell “Don” Roehm Jr. ’61 earned All-American and All-State honors for his skill as a Colgate soccer fullback. His passion for supporting Colgate athletics off the field as well was enshrined in a $4 million endowment bequest that he and his wife, Nedra, established during his 50th Reunion in 2011. With Roehm’s passing last April, his intention has been realized — to the benefit of the University’s student-athletes.

“Don was a true gentleman and Colgate soccer legend,” said Erik Ronning ’97, John W. Beyer Head Coach of Men’s Soccer. “He embodied all of the values we hold so dear.”

In the immediate term, income from the Roehm endowment will be used to transform a pair of part-time assistant soccer coaching positions — one each for men’s and women’s soccer — into full-time, permanent employment.

“The endowment will create continuity within the program, leading to a culture of consistent success on and off the field,” Ronning said. “It will allow our coaching staff to consistently attract the highest caliber student-athletes and develop our players to reach their maximum potential.”

Men’s soccer demonstrated that potential during its 2018 season, ending the year with 13 wins, a third-straight Patriot League title, and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Roehm’s gift will also shape the future of the women’s soccer team, which scored five shutouts in seven games last season, closing out 2018 with a record of 11-4-3.

“The Raider women’s soccer program will honor Don Roehm’s legacy through our own good acts, as we represent Colgate University to the best of our ability and with the highest standards of excellence,” said Kathy Brawn, head coach of women’s soccer. “Our ability as a staff to work as a cohesive unit, with the security of full-time employment, has just been raised to a higher level. It further strengthens Colgate’s  proud tradition and bold ambition as we aspire to reach new heights in our third century.” 

The Roehm endowment has been established as the University launches the Third-Century Plan, a long-term roadmap for Colgate’s future. The plan touches all parts of campus, including Division I athletics — an integral part of the University’s distinctive student experience.

“Don knew first-hand the power of the relationship between coaches and players,” said Nicki Moore, vice president and director of athletics. “He invested in that relationship when he established his gift eight years ago, and student-athletes for generations will see the benefit.”

A member of Maroon Key and Konosioni, Roehm was an active player in campus life during his time on the hill. As an alumnus and Hall of Honor inductee, he was a constant source of support for the University and its student-athletes.

“I am so grateful for the generosity shown by Don and Nedra Roehm,” Ronning said. “The support provided will leave a lasting legacy upon Colgate men’s and women’s soccer programs.”