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National University gained prominent and sustained visibility in December as title sponsor for the National University Holiday Bowl, with a strong presence at the nationally televised football game, and throughout the community in a series of affiliated events.
Monday, December 30 started with the Bumble Bee Foods 5K Run/Walk. The scenic course started on Harbor Drive, passed along Embarcadero Park and past the San Diego Convention Center. About 1,200 people participated, including alumni, students, staff and faculty. Each participant received a colorful t-shirt.
“What a great day and run for all who participated,” said alumnus and participant Jeff Daniels.
It was a healthful and festive start to the day, and to 2014.
The Big Bay Balloon Parade followed, beginning at 10 a.m. More than 100,000 participated as marchers or spectators. The large curbside crowd and a national television audience enjoyed the pageant of marching bands, floats, and large inflatable balloons against the backdrop of a clear blue San Diego sky.
The National University Holiday Bowl football balloon was a focal point of the parade. National University System Chancellor Michael Cunningham and his family waved to the crowd from a convertible, directly behind the football balloon and in front of 76 members of the National University community who were greeted with loud applause. Retired Rear Adm. John ‘Mac’ McLaughlin, president and CEO of the USS Midway Museum, served as grand marshal of the parade. Chancellor Cunningham’s interview during
The National University Holiday Bowl kicked off at Qualcomm Stadium at 7:15 p.m., as the Arizona State University Sun Devils took on the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Attendance was over 52,000, and the game was aired live nationally on ESPN. Military Students participated in the flag ceremony during the National Anthem, alongside other active duty military personnel.
Chancellor Cunningham was present on the field with philanthropist T. Denny Sanford for the ceremonial coin toss. During the first time out of the game, he presented a check to four National University veteran students who are recipients of the National University Veteran’s Victory Scholarship Fund. A portion of ticket sales to the Holiday Bowl were donated to the Scholarship. It was later announced that Mr. Sanford had made a major gift to National University (Click here to read more).
Two other time outs during the game served as a “Salute to Teachers” and a “Salute to the Military.” Video tributes were featured on both occasions, and the audience applauded the teachers and military personal who received tickets to the game. National University aired 11 thirty-second commercials to a national audience during the Holiday Bowl broadcast.
The Red Raiders Led by freshman quarterback Davis Webb, scored one of the biggest upsets in Holiday Bowl history by defeating the 16th-ranked Sundevils, 37-23. Chancellor Cunningham presented the National University Holiday Bowl trophy to Texas Tech Coach Kliff Kingsbury and his team afterward on the field.
The Holiday Bowl is a post-season NCAA-sanctioned Division I-A college football bowl game that has been played annually at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California, since 1978. Since then, the event has contributed more than $600 million to the regional economy.
Starting in 2014, the Holiday Bowl enters a six-year contract with the Big Ten Conference, meaning the Holiday Bowl will have the guaranteed top pairing of teams from the Big 10 and Pac-12.