Valley Children’s Healthcare announced Thursday morning it will provide Fresno State $1 million annually over 10 years to strengthen the athletics department, as well as the university’s work in children’s health.
The agreement between VCH and Fresno State covers the naming rights of Bulldog Stadium and, over the next decade, could result in improvements to the stadium, university officials said.
More specifically, the Valley Children’s gift is earmarked for “operations, scholarships, collaborations for student-athletes, youth programs, opportunities to support students pursuing degrees in health, and other opportunities,” the university said in a news release.
Big Boost for Fresno State Athletics
Fresno State athletics is facing financial hurdles because of last season’s COVID restrictions and the rapidly changing college sports landscape.
The name of the football stadium is subject to the approval of the California State University Board of Trustees, which will consider the name change in spring 2022.
“We are deeply proud that Valley Children’s Healthcare will be synonymous with Fresno State in such a significant way,” said Fresno State President Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval.
“We are grateful for the transformative support from Valley Children’s Hospital.”
Said Valley Children’s President/CEO Todd Suntrapak: “For Valley Children’s, our partnership with Fresno State aligns with our commitment to ensure our kids have every chance to learn, grow and live their healthiest lives possible. The health and well-being of our children are dependent on organizations like Fresno State and Valley Children’s to invest in their futures and to create new opportunities for them.”
— Fresno State Bulldogs (@FSAthletics) August 19, 2021
Carr Brothers Helped Broker Deal
Former Fresno State star football quarterbacks Derek and David Carr were involved in putting together the agreement.
Both of their families have turned to Valley Children’s to provide care for their children, and both serve as ambassadors for the healthcare network.
Derek Carr’s son, Dallas, underwent life-saving surgery at Valley Children’s Hospital and spent several weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit on the Madera campus.
Three of David Carr’s children have Type 1 diabetes and are cared for by specialists at Valley Children’s outpatient specialty care center in Bakersfield.
“David and I have a strong connection to Valley Children’s as grateful parents for the life-saving care our children have received there and to Fresno State for all that we received as students,” said Derek Carr, the Las Vegas Raiders starting signal-caller. “To be able to play a part in strengthening and expanding the long-term relationship between these two institutions has been rewarding.”
“Derek and I loved our time playing at Fresno State, and still consider it a home away from home,” added David Carr, a former No. 1 overall NFL draft pick and now an NFL Network Analyst. “We are both excited to see Valley Children’s and Fresno State grow its partnership that will benefit so many students and the community.”
David Carr’s football column for GV Wire will premiere before the start of the NFL season next month.