Greencastle, Ind. – Alumni and friends' lead gifts of $410,000 were announced today in establishing the William J. Fenlon Endowed Fund for Men's Basketball Travel. The endowment, named in honor of head basketball coach Bill Fenlon, will fund student-athlete travel, including international trips combining competition and cultural opportunities.
"I am humbled beyond words by this gift made in my name to enhance our student-athletes' experience," said Fenlon who is in his 25th season at DePauw. "More than anything else, this endowment is a reflection of the power of a DePauw education and of the loyalty our guys have to our basketball program and to one another."
Fenlon is DePauw's winningest men's basketball coach with 412 victories. His 519 wins in 32 seasons as a collegiate head coach rank 13th among active NCAA Division III men's basketball coaches.
The initiative to create the Fenlon Fund was led by Troy '93 and Kerri Noard. Troy was a Management Fellow, economics major, and a member of Fenlon's first DePauw team in 1992-93.
"We wanted to do something substantial for the men's basketball program and create a tribute to Coach Fenlon, who has been a great friend and mentor to me," said Noard. "Kerri and I liked the idea of a permanent endowment to make possible cultural experiences and overseas travel for future student athletes as a lasting legacy to coach. We quickly learned that the fund would be enthusiastically supported by multiple generations of former Tigers and friends of Coach Fenlon."
Throughout his 25 seasons at DePauw, Fenlon has emphasized international travel, leading his teams on tours of Eastern and Western Europe and individual trips to England, Italy and Ireland.
This spring, Bill and his wife, Gigi Jennewein, part-time assistant professor of communication and theatre at DePauw, will lead their fourth extended studies student trip to Northern Ireland through PeacePlayers International, an organization that uses basketball to unite, educate and inspire young people to create a more peaceful world.
The Fenlon Endowed Fund was announced by former student-athlete Chase Newsom '95, now a senior vice president at City Securities Corporation in Lafayette, during a brief ceremony prior to the tipoff of the men's basketball game against The College of Wooster.
"This is a testament to alumni respect for Coach Fenlon, to the DePauw basketball program, and to the lifelong friendships that began here," Newsom said during the ceremony.