Jan. 23, 2008
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Two additional donors are coming forward today to support the expansion and renovation of Purdue's Mackey Arena.
Upgrades to the 40-year-old basketball arena include improved arena seating, ticket offices and other amenities for fans, as well as the opportunity to bring academic, athletic and training needs into one complex.
Tom Spurgeon, a 1961 alumnus and current Purdue trustee, has contributed $3 million toward the project.
The gymnasium in the student-athlete academic center will be named for Bob Holloway, a 1948 alumnus who has committed $2 million to Mackey.
"Both Tom Spurgeon, one of our trustees, and Bob Holloway, a distinguished alumnus, have been strong supporters of Purdue athletics for many years," Purdue President France A. Córdova said. "Their commitments today are a strong statement of their continuing pride in Purdue. I sincerely appreciate their willingness to bestow gifts which will positively impact our student-athletes."
Morgan J. Burke, Purdue's director of Intercollegiate Athletics, said the Mackey Arena project has the potential to influence thousands of future students.
"For many students, athletics are more than just a game," Burke said. "Athletics teaches discipline and time management, as well as physical fitness, to students who often create friendships with teammates and coaches that last a lifetime. The generosity of these donors will have a lasting impact on our athletes for generations to come."
The Tom Spurgeon Golf Training Center, an indoor golfing facility, was named for the trustee's lead gift on that project. He also made a gift to the Dick and Sandy Dauch Alumni Center to create the Spurgeon Hall of Spirit in the atrium, which features interactive displays of Purdue's history and traditions. In fall 2007, Spurgeon donated $100,000 to the creation of Hanley Hall, the proposed new home for the Department of Child Development and Family Studies that will bear the names of his good friends, Bill and Sally Hanley.
The Purdue Alumni Association elected Spurgeon as its representative to the board of trustees in 2005. He was appointed to the board by Gov. Mitch Daniels in July of that year. In addition to that role, he also is a member of Purdue's Athletics Advisory Council. He also served on the steering committee for the university's $1.5 billion fundraising campaign, the Campaign for Purdue.
"Purdue athletics gets into your blood when you're a Boilermaker," Spurgeon said. "I have always enjoyed the various roles I've taken on which have allowed me to look after the well-being of this university. Helping to steward the Mackey Arena project allows me to combine my passion for athletics with my love of Purdue."
In 2001 he donated $1.5 million to the construction of the Boilermaker Aquatic Center. He endowed a student athletic scholarship in 2003 and supported the Schwartz Tennis Center and the Blake Family Wrestling Training Center in 2004. He also has contributed to a new video editing system for the Purdue football team and pledged $100,000 to Lambert Field in 2006.
Holloway owns several hotels in the Louisville and Frankfort, Ky., areas.
He is a past president of the Purdue Alumni Association and president of the board of trustees of Lindsey Wilson College, a small Methodist College in Columbia, Ky. He is a member of the board of directors of Kelley Technical Coatings Inc., a manufacturer of swimming pool and deck coatings in Louisville.
Holloway's wife, Doris, who died in 2005, was a 1947 Purdue alumnus. All four of the couple's children also graduated from the university. Two of the couple's grandchildren attend Purdue now.
"The Navy sent me to Purdue in 1944, and I knew nothing about it," Holloway said. "It was just a wonderful, wonderful thing that happened to me, being able to come to Purdue. I feel like I owe Purdue 50 cents of every dollar I've ever made. That's how much I love this university."
Holloway said he's confident that his latest donation will be used to reshape Mackey Arena into a first-class facility.
"One thing about Purdue is whatever they do, they do it right," Holloway said. "The pool that is named after my wife in the aquatic center is first class. I'm confident that Mackey Arena will be greatly improved through these plans."
On Saturday (Jan. 19) five sets of donors contributed $1 million each to support the Mackey project. The $1 million donors and the specific efforts their contributions support include:
* A gift from Dr. K. Donald Shelbourne, an Indianapolis knee specialist, and Clarian Health, to create the Shelbourne Sports Medicine Training Room of Mackey Arena.
* The Dennis Schwartz Basketball History Exhibit in the Mackey Concourse will be named in honor of a gift from Dennis J. Schwartz, a 1963 industrial engineering alumnus.
* The Schleicher family of Sellersburg, Ind. Richard Schleicher is a 1959 mechanical engineering graduate who is donating the funds with wife, Alice, and daughter, Kimra, a 1988 liberal arts graduate.
* The plaza between the intercollegiate athletic center and the student-athlete academic center will bear the name of alumni and donors Robert and Sally Weist of Chicago.
* Jim Ackerman, a 1947 agricultural economics alumnus, and his wife, Lois, for whom the main entrance to the intercollegiate athletics center will be named.
Former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, have already contributed $2 million toward the expansion to create the Drew and Brittany Brees Student Athlete Academic Center in the expanded Mackey Arena project.
Brees, now the starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, played for the Boilermakers from 1997 to 2000 and earned a bachelor's degree in industrial management. Brittany Brees also attended Purdue, earning a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership and supervision in 2000. She runs the Brees Dream Foundation full time in its mission to provide education and create opportunities for disadvantaged children, especially those suffering from the debilitating effects of cancer.
In 2007 Dick and Jeanne Groben of Sarasota, Fla., also contributed $1 million toward the Mackey renovations. To recognize the Grobens' ongoing commitment to Purdue, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics named its endowed scholarship program the Groben Society. Their lifetime giving to the university totals more than $1.25 million.
Dick Groben, a 1950 Purdue graduate in chemical engineering, spent his sales and marketing career in the field of chemical engineering as a vice president with Pfizer Chemical and as founder and part owner of Microlife Technics. Jeanne Groben raised three children and is an accomplished writer and humorist, having been published in the Wall Street Journal and Reader's Digest. Both of the Grobens are from Evansville, Ind. Purdue's board of trustees on May 18 authorized $82.35 million for the Mackey renovation. Purdue hopes to raise $30 million in private funds for the Mackey plan to leverage with funds from the university's Big Ten television contracts.
The university has hired an architect and construction manager. The detailed design will include specifications and drawings, which will ultimately lead to a bidding proposal and a more refined cost estimate for the overall project. Bidding authorization will be sought from the trustees in September.
Construction and premium seat sales for the new Mackey complex are expected to start in 2009. Construction is slated for completion by the start of the 2011-2012 season. Mackey will remain the home court for Purdue men's and women's teams throughout the construction process.