Travis Kells Launches Health and Wellness Foundation for UC Student-Athletes

Zach Stipe

Associate AD / Communications

(CINCINNATI, OH – November 9, 2022)Kansas City Chiefs and former Cincinnati Bearcat, Travis Kelce has announced that his Eighty-seven and running Foundation will make a significant contribution to the University of Cincinnati Department of Athletics by launching a health and wellness foundation for Bearcats student-athletes.

The donation will fund Cincinnati’s Department of Sport Psychology and Counseling, directly impacting and supporting all 450 student-athletes at Kelce’s alma mater, expanding staff and staff for Director of Sport Psychology Lenesia Nickell in the process.

The grant ensures that all UC student-athletes will have ongoing access to the care and services they need to be mentally and physically strong, confident and resilient.

“During my time at UC, I developed a solid infrastructure of people around me to help me navigate the daily grind of being a student-athlete,” Kelce said. “The transition from high school to college was difficult; it was an emotional roller coaster at times as I juggled my academic responsibilities and held my own on the field. There was almost no room for error in the classroom and on the field. being able to have this support system is part of the reason I decided to start this endowment and give back to my alma mater and its athletic department. I’m at a place in my career where I can share my experiences and give resources to give the university’s student-athletes the help they need to become the best version of themselves they can be.”

Kelce played at UC from 2009 to 2012, scoring eight touchdowns in his final season before heading to the NFL, where he played for the Chiefs for the past decade, establishing himself as one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history.

“We are honored to have Travis Kells launch this transformative endowment for our student-athletes,” said UC Director of Athletics John Cunningham. “This is a truly special gift from Travis because it comes from a former student-athlete to current and future student-athletes, but also because it will impact student-athletes for years to come.

“Travis is an incredible ambassador for the University of Cincinnati, and we are grateful for his continued support of our athletes and our athletic department. Mental health is a crucial component of college athletics. Travis’ gift will ensure that Cincinnati remains at the forefront of support for all UC athletes.”

Kelce is a dedicated philanthropist who is passionate about helping the lives of youth facing adversity. He founded Eighty-Seven & Running in 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. The organization aims to help underserved youth strive to become productive citizens by creating motivating mentoring programs that help explore and develop their abilities while learning critical life skills.

“Nurturing mental and physical health is critical to developing a successful future for student-athletes,” said Andre Innes, Kelce’s business manager and a former Cincinnati Bearcat himself.
The University has built an incredible foundation to support the physical needs of student-athletes, which is just as important as maintaining their mental health, as both are vital to optimizing well-being and performance excellence in the classroom, on the field and their lives beyond sports.”

For eighty-seven and running
Eighty-Seven & Running helps underserved youth strive to become productive citizens by mentoring and motivating them to explore and develop their abilities while learning critical life skills. Founded in 2015, we remain dedicated to providing resources and opportunities to enrich youth and their communities through fundraising, athletic programs, mentoring and outreach initiatives. Our mission is to empower disadvantaged youth to succeed by providing resources and support to their communities and cultivating their talent in education, business, athletics, STEM and the arts. We strive to change outcomes for underserved youth in communities across the US by creating access to opportunity, enrichment and advancement.

About the Cincinnati Athletics

The University of Cincinnati Department of Athletics competes at the highest level of interscholastic athletics with a vision to reach Next level success for all 18 varsity teams and more than 500 student-athletes. The Bearcats have a proud athletic history, winning eight national championships and 117 conference titles. Cincinnati’s men’s basketball team is among the 15 all-time winningest programs, while the football team became the first American Athletic Conference program to compete in the College Football Playoff in 2021. Olympic gold medalist volleyball player Jordan Thompson, member NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson and Major League Baseball legend Sandy Koufax are among several luminaries who have competed as Bearcats.

UC student-athletes collectively posted a cumulative GPA of 3.369 in the spring of 2021, with 77 percent earning honor roll spots while six student-athletes collected CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.

Under the leadership of Director of Athletics John Cunningham and supported by more than 150 full-time staff, The mission of UC Athletics is yes get in touch our community, improve our university and impact the lives of student athletes as they prepare to change the world on and off the field.

For more information, visit


Similar videos

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *