Robert M. Saunders ’86, ’88 MBA and Nanette L. Saunders have given the largest gift in UNCG Athletics history: a $1.5 million planned gift that will create two endowed scholarships for men’s golf, the Robert M. Saunders Men’s Golf Endowed Scholarship and the Nanette L. Saunders Men’s Golf Endowed Scholarship.
“This transformational gift is a giant step and is a significant moment during an already historic year for the Spartans,” said Director of Athletics Kim Record.
Robert Saunders graduated from UNCG in 1986 with a degree from the Bryan School of Business and went on to earn an MBA from UNCG in 1988. He was a member of the golf team during his time as a Spartan and is still an avid tournament golfer today. Prior to attending UNCG, Saunders served four years in the United States Air Force. Recently, Saunders helped with the creation of the UNCG Banyon Creek Collegiate tournament in Palm City, Florida.
“We are very excited to support the UNCG men’s golf program and the student-athletes who come to UNCG for a life-changing education,” said Rob and Nanette. “Our hopes are the students will have continued success both during their college experience and life after the university. We are confident these students will find a way to give back to the university as they grow and leave their own positive influence in their wake.”
UNCG men’s golf has a rich history of more than 40 years. At the Division III level, Joseph Caldera became UNCG’s first male All-American in any sport appearing in two NCAA Tournaments. In 1982, Ryan Fox won the NCAA Division III National Championship. After moving to the Division I level, UNCG claimed back-to-back Big South Championships in 1995 and 1996. Since 2001 and under the guidance of head coach Terrance Stewart, UNCG men’s golf has had 23 all-conference players, 10 Academic All-Americans, five SoCon Freshmen of the Year, a ranking of ninth nationally in 2004 and has made four NCAA tournament appearances (Team in 2014 and 2018, Individual in 2008 and 2016).
“The commitment that Rob and Nanette are making will last forever. Young men who excel in golf will be able to follow their dream to earn a degree from an amazing university and compete for a national championship,” said Stewart. “I want to personally thank Rob and Nanette for their friendship and belief in what we’re continuing to build at UNCG.”