CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – According to an announcement from West Texas A&M University, a former athlete who played “at a time when women had to hustle not only in their sport but also for resources to play” will give almost $2 million towards scholarships for student-athletes and assistance for each of the university’s women’s athletics teams.

WT said that the donor is Judy Fugate, an Amarillo resident who played badminton and bowled for the school during the 1960s and 1970s. She’s set up the Judy Fugate Lady Buff Scholarship endowment, a $1.85 million gift to the One West fundraising campaign that will help ensure that top women athletes will receive annual scholarships.

Because this is the endowment’s first year, said WT, at least one athlete in every women’s sport at the University will receive a scholarship.

Further, WT said that the money will create the J. Fugate Fund for Lady Buffs Athletics, which will aim to provide program support for every women’s team.

“WT gave me the education to make a comfortable living and have a good life,” Fugate said, “I hope that, by endowing a scholarship, we can help young women who may not be as fortunate.”

As described by WT, Fugate competed during a time before Title IX was established to guarantee equal access and quality in athletic programs at federally funded educational institutions. During that time, Fugate and her teammates had to buy their own t-shirts to use as team uniforms, carpool with one another or their coach to games, and play on whichever team their coach could find due to an absence of an athletic conference for women’s sports.

“Judy, I can only imagine the challenges that you and many other Lady Buffs faced in order to compete,” said Dyke Rogers, co-chair of the One West campaign, “Thank you for your dedication and perseverance not only then, but now as you set an example for others to follow through your generous philanthropy.”

The gift from Fugate pushed the total amount raised in the One West campaign close to $110 million, according to the University. The campaign has a five-year goal of $125 million and went public in September 2021.