Recreational Sports

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Give to Recreational Sports

Recreational Sports promotes a healthy lifestyle through engagement, leadership, and activity. Established in 1913, the department is one of the first collegiate recreation programs in the country and operates three comprehensive recreation facilities, two field complexes, and two auxiliary activity spaces. Recreational Sports facilities have 1.2 million visits per year, serving 70% of U-M students on campus and 1,100 members who include faculty, staff, retirees, alumni and friends.


Adventure Leadership

Our Adventure Leadership program provides educational and recreational opportunities that foster leadership development, team building, and environmental stewardship in the community. Adventure Leadership staff, who operate the team and trip components, are trained in facilitation and certified in safety that is appropriate for team building elements and the challenges the wilderness can present. This amazing group of around 40 staff members help us to provide over 30 trips and 140 team-building programs each year.

An endowment or expendable gift at the following levels will allow the University to help students in the following ways:

  • $5,000+ annually/$100,000+ endowed - Fund a First Ascent Trip: this program provides incoming U‑M freshmen with an opportunity to connect with fellow freshmen in small groups for camping, hiking, canoeing, and exploring the state’s natural areas. Six trips per year are led by graduate or upper-level undergraduate students and center around the transition to college and all things U‑M. The goal of First Ascent is to help participants grow in self-esteem, self-reliance and confidence—and to have a great time! All gear is provided and no experience is necessary, but not all students can afford the cost associated with this amazing experience. Your gift would fund a trip and provide the opportunity for 10 students to participate in the program, free of charge.
  • $500,000+ endowed - Provide free outdoor gear rentals to all students: our Rental Center offers inspected and dependable outdoor equipment. This includes tents, sleeping bags, camp stoves, bikes, and cross-country skis with over 500 customer interactions each year—but the opportunity to provide this service to students for free would make the outdoors more attainable for all.

Club Sports

Club Sports are student-led, student-run organizations that compete against other colleges and universities across the countryin regional and national championships. They provide students with the unique opportunity to continue to play sports at a high level, represent the University, and develop their skills as leaders and teammates.

An endowment or expendable gift at the following levels will allow the University to help students in the following ways:

  • $2,500+ annually/$50,000+ endowed - Provide support for a student participant in need: The cost of a team’s operation is largely funded by student participants’ paying team dues. This presents barriers for students who do not have the disposable income required to cover these costs, and the opportunity to allow a student to participate and compete in a sport they love can have a major impact on their campus experience.
  • $5,000+ annually/$100,000+ endowed - Help fund teams traveling to their national tournament: Many of our teams must qualify to compete in national tournaments, and this trip often comes at an additional cost to the team and its members. Help us to support our teams competing on a national level by donating to our Club Sports Nationals Fund.
  • $8 million endowed - Name the program and endow current annual program expenses: “Being a club team officer was one of the greatest experiences I had in college because I learned things far beyond what textbooks can teach about everything from making travel arrangements to inspiring and leading a team to amazing achievements and success.” - Emily, Synchronized Skating, BA ~17. We are providing opportunities for over 1,500 students to represent U-M in a sport they are passionate about, on a national level. Endowing the Club Sports program would allow us to find ways to increase that support and create more intentional opportunities for learning and growth during their time with us.


This video game team competition is not new to University of Michigan students, but it has a new home at Recreational Sports. Students organize and run the Esports program, which focuses on community and well-being while also providing opportunities for competition with other universities around the world. We are excited to build this program and hope to build a great home for the competitive teams as well as a place where other gamers on campus can participate.

An endowment or expendable gift at the following levels will allow the University to help students in the following ways:

  • $3,000+ Annually - Purchase a gaming station: Make gaming accessible to all students on campus by helping us provide computer stations that can be used by our competitive teams (and potentially other casual users).
  • $7,500+ Annually - Support the streaming of competitions: Virtual connection/streaming is one major reason Esports has become a popular spectator sport. Help us to bring U-M competitions to friends of our program around the world.
  • $50,000+ Endowed - ensure a computer station stays current: Technology is always evolving—and it’s no different in the world of Esports. Regular replacement of hardware will allow our competitive teams to find success and keep our program at the forefront of the Esports industry.
  • $7 million - Build our Esports arena: Every team needs a home, and an Esports team is no different. In addition to space for competition, an Esports arena would provide campus with opportunities for casual gamers to enjoy, connect, and compete with other gamers around the world. A space dedicated to Esports will create opportunities for students to engage with other gamers beyond the virtual world, and build a community around this interest.


Fitness and Wellness programming at Recreational Sports continues to grow and evolve as we provide new opportunities for participants to find their most comfortable way to be physically active. We offer a variety of large instructor-led classes each week for participants in our Group-X program, as well as our Small Group Training program, which provides participants with a higher level of instructor attention, and an individualized approach for participants through personal training. While we have something for everyone, all of our fitness and wellness programs are currently fee-based, which may put them out of reach for many students.

An endowment or expendable gift at the following levels will allow the University to help students in the following ways:

  • $2,000+ annually/$45,000+ endowed - Provide a small group training session for six students: With a creative, fun and dynamic workout experience, Small Group Training provides participants with a balance of community and of individual attention in groups of six or fewer. Support for this program would allow us to offer a six-week session to students free of charge.
  • $3,500+ annually/$75,000+ endowed - Provide free Group-X classes for 20 people: We are currently serving over 2,700 participants in our Group-X program, but want to provide the opportunity to students who cannot afford to pay the participation fee. Support here would allow us to provide 20 students with the opportunity to participate, free of charge, for a year.
  • $10,000+ annually/$250,000+ endowed - Fund a Personal Training certification class: The personal training program not only serves clients, it also develops students’ skills in workout design and coaching that could turn into a career for them once they leave U-M. Supporting this initiative will allow us to provide an educational course and certification for 30 students per year, who can serve then provide personal training services to over 350 clients per year.
  • $4 million endowed - Fund Group-X as a free campus program to all students: To stay physically active, some students choose to run on a treadmill, lift weights, or play basketball. Others are looking for an activity in a group setting, where they can build a community and learn from an instructor who is certified to provide them with a safe and effective workout. This level of support for our Group X program would allow us to provide activity in this group setting, free of charge, for any student in our campus community.

Intramurals & IM+

Intramural Sports offers participants the opportunity to compete against other University of Michigan teams in leagues and tournaments. Serving over 10,000 participants per year, it offers something for every skill level and sports interest. These opportunities require a fee for participation, and we hope to eliminate those barriers for students who want to participate, but cannot afford it.

An endowment or expendable gift at the following levels will allow the University to help students in the following ways:

  • $1,000+ annually - Make an Intramural tournament free for participants
  • $5,000+ annually/$100,000+ endowed - Provide 100 students with the opportunity to participate in Intramural Sports for free for a year
  • $5.5 million endowed - Make Intramural Sports free for all students

We also provide education and development for our Intramural Sports officials and supervisors. These students are responsible for providing a fun and safe experience for the 10,000+ students participating each year.

  • $2,500+ annually/$50,000+ endowed - Provide opportunities for Officials’ development through video: Building your skills as an official takes work beyond training, and one of the best ways to develop it is through watching and learning from film. Video sessions also help build community among officials as they learn from each other.
  • $3,500+ annually/$75,000+ endowed - Supervisor training week: Our Intramural Sports Supervisors are critical to the success of our program, and proper training and gaining experience in community building will help equip them for their role. Your help can ensure that opportunities for education around topics like conflict management and customer service as well as team building for this group can continue to be done in a substantive and intentional way.

IM+ Partnerships & Education goes beyond sports to find ways to build community on campus. From drop-in activities to instructional classes, we offer a variety of activities through these programs.

  • $500+ annually/$10,000+ endowed - Fund our “Wellness Woof” program for a year: Bringing together therapy dogs and students the program has allowed us to promote emotional well-being among our students in a space where they can relax, reflect, and make some furry friends. In its first year, the program netted over 400 attendees; support for the program would allow further expansion.
  • $1,000+ - Provide a wheelchair for our Adaptive Sports program: As we continue to build our adaptive sports program, the greatest opportunity we can provide to students is the opportunity to participate. Having wheelchairs available for interested participants is an important part of building this community.
  • $2,500+ annually/$50,000+ endowed - Make 3-on-3 Intramural Wheelchair Basketball free for participants: We have been overwhelmed by the interest in wheelchair basketball since it became an intramural sports league, and we hope to be able to provide opportunities for more teams and more students to learn about and participate in this sport.
  • $10,000+ annually/$255,000 endowed - Create an instructional program: We hope to help everyone enjoy a healthy lifestyle, and we aspire to build an instructional program that will allow participants to learn rules and techniques that will help them in a new sport or activity.

Learn more about Recreational Sports!

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Every Gift Matters     
Student Life is committed to student learning and the development of the whole student. We facilitate transformation and enrich education through new opportunities for learning and development; fostering an environment for the success of all community members; developing a deeper understanding of ourselves and others on an inclusive campus; enabling students to practice positive physical, emotional, social, intellectual, mental, and spiritual health; preparing students to succeed during and after their university experience; resolving complex issues through advocacy, services, and compliance; and providing programs and facilities for the physical, social, psychological, academic, and recreational needs of the campus community. 

To do all this, and much more, Student Life needs your support—every gift matters.

Your Contribution

Your gifts of cash, pledges, or appreciated securities will enhance the experience of all University of Michigan students. Wills, estate, and planned gifts allow you to create a lasting legacy that will allow our students to grow and thrive for generations to come. Thank you for giving to the University of Michigan.  


Give to Student Life


Planned Gifts

Legacy gifts from generous alumni and friends provide the future support needed to achieve the University’s long-term commitment to excellence. A bequest is the easiest and most tangible way to accomplish this. If you have already included Student Life in your estate plans, but have not previously notified us, please let us know. We would like to properly thank you for your support, ensure your wishes are met, and plan with you for the future.

To learn more about these opportunities to support Student Life, please contact Student Life Development at 734-647-7309 or email [email protected].