Pitt Wrestling Receives $250,000 Gift from Vartabedian Family
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh wrestling program has received a $250,000 gift from the Vartabedian Family to the Pitt Wrestling Championship Fund, as announced by Director of Athletics Heather Lyke Thursday morning.
"We are extremely grateful for the Vartabedian family's generous gift," Lyke said. "Our wrestling team is working tirelessly to capture more championships, and by renovating their training and practice space, it will enhance our recruiting opportunities and overall student-athlete experience."
The Pitt Wrestling Championship Fund allows donors to invest in the Pitt wrestling program directly. Gifts to the Pitt Wrestling Championship Fund support strategic investments that move Pitt wrestling towards its championship goals, such as the 2017 renovation of the Fitzgerald Field House wrestling room.
A 1967 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Nish Vartabedian spent 25 years working for Fidelity Investments where he rose to Executive Vice President prior to retiring in 2008. Vartabedian's ties are strong within the University as he has served on numerous committees including the Alumni Association Board, Career Service Committee and Executive Committee to name a few. Vartabedian was a recipient of Pitt's 225 Medallion, which commemorated the University of Pittsburgh's 225th anniversary in 2012. He was also received the Swanson School of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011.
Vartabedian is a longtime supporter of Pitt Athletics. His generosity was vital in the construction of Vartabedian Field, the Panthers' softball home, and he most recently donated a state-of-the-art Daktronics scoreboard to the tennis program.
"It's an exciting time for the Pitt wrestling program and I couldn't be happier to help them reach new heights," Vartabedian said. "Keith Gavin and his staff have an incredible vision for their team and I am motivated by their competitiveness and others should be as well. I hope my gift will not only help transform the wrestling room, but also challenges other supporters to follow suit."
"On behalf of my coaching staff and student-athletes, we are incredibly humbled by Nish's commitment," Gavin said. "I am more than thrilled to be back at my alma mater and to help these wrestlers reach their full potential on and off the mat. The support from not only former wrestlers, but Pitt alumni in general, has been non-stop since upon my arrival."
The University of Pittsburgh wrestling program is one of six that participate in the ACC. The small but mighty group consistently ranks amongst the nation's very best. Pitt spent the entire 2016-17 season nationally ranked as it boasted three ACC individual champions and sent four wrestlers to the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.