University Advancement 

​Active Support for Active Students

​A Washington University couple on giving to athletics

Michelle and Donald McClure
Athletics donors Michelle, BA’10, and Donald, BSBA’10, McClure

Supporting the university was a natural decision for Donald and Michelle McClure. “Wash U has given me so much. Now I want to give back what I can,” says former scholarship recipient Michelle, BA’10. Donald, BSBA’10, echoes that sentiment: “I want to help ensure that current students have an experience that’s as good as—or even better than—the wonderful experience I had.”

Warm Welcome

As a cross-country athlete searching for colleges, Donald knew he wanted more than excellent academics; athletics were an equally important consideration. When he visited Washington University, his future cross-country teammates impressed him immediately.
“It was a tight-knit group, and I felt that this was quite simply the best fit I’d found with a team,” Donald says. In fall 2006, he enrolled at Washington University, where his fellow student-athletes and the Department of Athletics welcomed him warmly to the community and supported him throughout his education. This experience would lead him and his wife, less than four years after graduation, to give to the university at a leadership level.

Seeing Need from the Inside

On campus as an undergraduate, Donald also met Michelle, a young political science major (and fifth-generation Washington University student) he would marry two years after graduating. As students, the McClures realized that the university always needs further funding. Michelle believes that without her scholarship she may not have been able to attend Washington University. Donald was captain of the cross-country team and was aware of the team's budget. “I understood that there were financial constraints on what we could do,” he says, “especially in the pre-season, when we had to support the team on campus for a week before the semester. Then there was travel, and there just wasn’t much money to work with.”
In addition to his role as captain of the cross-country team, Donald participated in indoor and outdoor track. He and Michelle are well aware of the positive impact athletics often have on students’ lives—not only through the physical fitness sports encourage, but also through the social connections and sense of belonging that participation creates. “The athletes were a true community,” Donald says. “Most of my friends were my teammates, and I made my strongest connections on campus through athletics.”
As members of the Eliot Society and the Department of Athletics giving society the W Club, the McClures are pleased to enable students to have such experiences. “I think Athletics is a department that’s often overlooked by donors,” says Michelle, “so we can make a difference there.”



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