$1.6M Donation to WVU Football Expands Educational Opportunities Through 5th Quarter Program


MORGANTOWN, WV — West Virginia University’s 5th Quarter Football Program Expands to Create Unique Educational Opportunities for Select Student-Athletes with Nearly $1.6 Million Alumni Donation WVU students John and Elaine Chambers.

The couple’s latest contribution through the Chambers Family Foundation complements previous philanthropic leadership efforts designed to advance WVU and Mountain State through innovative programs, experiential learning, entrepreneurship and more.

“We are thrilled to partner with the WVU Football Program to reinvent the way we educate Mountaineer student-athletes,” said John and Elaine Chambers. “We know that our student-athletes have the drive and work ethic to succeed. By empowering them with comprehensive next-gen skills and experience, we can ensure they are ready to excel. in a rapidly changing global workplace. Their professional victories will also help build West Virginia’s growing reputation as a startup state that cultivates innovation and produces future leaders.”

Launched in 2020 by Head Coach Neal Brown, the 5th term program aims to serve and develop Total Mountaineers by preparing student-athletes for success on the playing field as well as life after graduation. The program’s comprehensive approach focuses on five pillars: character development, leadership development, real life, career development, and social responsibility.

The couple’s donation will establish Chambers Elite Climbers, an additional two-year program that provides additional personal and professional growth opportunities for student-athletes chosen through a competitive application process. Each cohort will dive deeper into key areas of interest – entrepreneurship and innovation, technology, financial education and communications – through a variety of educational resources, complete a study abroad experience and select a humanitarian enterprise focused on the West Virginia to be continued annually.

Participants will also benefit from expert education speakers, internships, career preparation resources, cultural excursions, designated work/meeting space, and staff support.

“The 5th Quarter program is a critical component to the overall success of our football program,” Brown said. “It helps us educate and prepare our players to become full-fledged student-athletes and give them an important understanding of life after football. Chambers Elite Climbers will provide an enhanced level of development across all five program pillars of the Q5. I would like to thank John and Elaine Chambers for their generous support.”

Chambers’ donation will help WVU cultivate one of the premier student-athlete development programs in college football. With the added incentive of Chambers Elite Climbers, the 5th term program offers the opportunity to attract the best recruits in the country ensuring that they can achieve their professional goals after graduation.

“John and Elaine Chambers have made a significant donation to our Q5 program, and I want to thank them for their support and helping us take it to the next level,” said the athletic director. Shane Lyons mentioned. “It is already a great success, but the addition of the additional two-year Chambers Elite Climbers program provides our football student-athletes with a unique opportunity to excel in the game of life. The benefits of this additional program will be hard-hitting, and I appreciate John and Elaine’s drive to make it happen.”

John Chambers is the former Executive Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems and the current Founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures, a venture capital firm striving to change the world through digitalization and entrepreneurship. A native of Charleston, he earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and a law degree from WVU – in 1971 and 1974, respectively. He earned an honorary doctorate as a commencement speaker from WVU in 2001.

Elaine Chambers earned a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology from WVU in 1972. A strong supporter of education and health initiatives, she is currently vice president of the CDC Foundation.

The couple generously supported many university programs and units. The John Chambers College of Business and Economics is named in honor of John’s 2018 commitment to providing financial and intellectual resources to his alma mater. In late 2020, they donated $1 million through their Chambers Family Foundation to establish a scholarship program at the College that benefits students from underrepresented groups.

Chambers’ donation was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.


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