$1 Million Gift from Harris Family Charitable Foundation for Wrestling
September 18, 2018
Vol. 65, Issue 5
The University of Pennsylvania announced a $1 million gift from the Harris Family Charitable Foundation to support Penn’s wrestling program’s growth and development. The Harris Family Charitable Foundation was founded by Josh Harris, W’86, a former Penn wrestler, and his wife, Marjorie.
The gift will be distributed over five years. The University will use $500,000 to create the Joshua J. Harris Wrestling Assistant Coach Endowment. The remaining $500,000 will be applied to team travel, recruiting, nutrition, equipment and salaries.
The donation supports head coach Roger Reina’s plan and vision to solidify Penn Wrestling as one of the NCAA’s premier programs. Driven by the goal of recruiting and developing the nation’s best and brightest wrestlers, the program looks to establish a culture of winning and long-term success for its team and athletes. Under Mr. Reina’s direction, Penn recently secured one of the nation’s 10 best recruiting classes, and in December, the team earned its highest team score at the renowned Midland Championships since 2001.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of Penn alum Josh Harris and the Harris Family Charitable Foundation as we aim big to create an unrivaled experience for our wrestling student-athletes,” Director of Athletics Grace Calhoun said. “As we launch into our Game Onward campaign over the next several years, this gift will help enable us to obtain competitive excellence, a world-class student-athlete experience and engage our campus like never before.”
“The Harris Family Charitable Foundation’s support of the University of Pennsylvania wrestling team is remarkable and will provide us the valuable resources at an ideal time to accelerate the growth of our program,” Mr. Reina said. “Josh has long referenced how he’s applied the invaluable lessons he learned as a wrestler to his incredibly impressive professional career. We are profoundly grateful that he is giving back in such an impactful way. Our program will be enhanced for years to come thanks to the powerful financial commitment Josh and his foundation have made.”
Mr. Harris is the co-founder of Apollo Global Management, LLC, as well as Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which includes in its portfolio the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. Through his foundation, he is thrilled to support to a program that means so much to him and his family.
“From an early age, wrestling taught me the virtues of hard work, grit and tenacity,” Mr. Harris said. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to support Penn Wrestling as it strives for excellence. I hope that the team will achieve national prominence under Coach Reina’s guidance, and that more importantly, these young athletes will learn valuable life lessons through their commitment to the sport, which will ultimately enable them to lead better lives.”
Originally Published in University of Pennsylvania Almanac.