Skip Viragh made sure his gift to Spring Hill College was one that keeps on giving.
Albert P. "Skip" Viragh, ‘64 loved Spring Hill College. He was also a gifted entrepreneur, became an expert in investment management and founded the Rydex Fund Group, one of the nation's most successful mutual fund families in the industry. Viragh also became the greatest benefactor in the college's history and established an athletic scholarship fund in 2000. He died in 2003 of pancreatic cancer.
And now, a gift from his estate of $2.5 million to that scholarship fund for men's and women's basketball that bears his name will further strengthen those programs. The gift includes $500,000 for immediately funded scholarships and $2 million for the scholarship endowment.
Viragh enrolled at Spring Hill College on a basketball scholarship, played for the Badgers for three years, and as his close friends recall with a smile, survived his college accounting classes before graduating in 1964.
"Skip Viragh's generosity helped transform Spring Hill College," said Rev. Richard P. Salmi, S.J. Spring Hill's president. "Our students continue to benefit from that generosity which resulted in new state of the art residence halls and the beautification of the campus. This latest gift will do much to support our student athletes and further strengthen our athletic programs."
"Skip loved sports and all the things that go into competition; practice, dedication, sacrifice and teamwork," said Skip's brother Mark. "Skip was the consummate team player. He was generous and committed to helping others. It is fitting that this gift continues to support the Badgers as they strive to take their programs to the next level."
In September 2009, Spring Hill accepted an invitation to join the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) a 16-school conference with a number of highly competitive sports. The conference includes colleges and universities in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and South Carolina.
"When we made the decision to move into the SSAC, we knew that our basketball programs would need some additional scholarships to be competitive," said Jim Hall, SHC athletic director. "This generous gift should provide the extra resources our programs need and it couldn't have come at a better time. We are grateful for Skip's continued support of Badger athletics and the basketball programs in particular."
For more information on the 2010-11 Spring Hill College basketball program, visit the Web at www.shcbadgers.com