Ithaca College Receives $4 Million Gift
IC nears fundraising goal for Athletic & Events Center with a gift from Atlantic Philanthropies
ITHACA, NY — Efforts by Ithaca College to raise the final funds needed to build a new athletics and events center have gotten a major boost with the receipt of a $4 million gift from Atlantic Philanthropies toward the long-planned facility.
“We had initially intended to break ground on the A&E center this spring and continue fundraising for another year,” said Ithaca College president Tom Rochon. “In the current economy, however, we didn’t feel it was wise to move forward without sufficient gifts and commitments in hand. This gift is a great show of confidence by Atlantic Philanthropies in the project and brings us much closer to what we believe is needed in order to stick with our original construction timetable.”
With an overall budget of $65.5 million, the A&E center will include a 130,000-square-foot field house, an outdoor stadium with lighted turf field, six outdoor tennis courts and an aquatics pavilion.
The $4 million gift brings the college within $3 million of its goal. The college has set for itself a May 31 deadline to raise the final amount that will allow it to break ground this spring.
“It’s going to go down to the wire,” said Shelley Semmler, vice president for institutional advancement. “We have received some substantial gifts for the A&E center since planning began, but we’ll have to work hard to raise the final $3 million by the end of May.”
Atlantic Philanthropies had previously given $25 million — which included a $7.5 million challenge grant — toward the project. That gift from the foundation, which is closely associated with Ithaca alumna Caroleen Feeney ’86, is providing the funds necessary to build the aquatics pavilion in the first construction phase. A $2 million gift from Edward Glazer ’92, executive vice president of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will name the Shari and Edward Glazer arena in the new field house.
The new $4 million gift is “a lifesaver,” according to Rochon. “Without it, we would have had to go back to the drawing board and reconsider how much of the project we could build at this time. No one wanted to do that, and we were hoping against hope that we’d get just this kind of boost.”
“This building has been in the planning stages for many years now, and that first shovel of dirt will represent a tremendous step forward for the college,” said Semmler. “Not only will the A&E center give IC athletes the facilities they need to train and compete, but it will also be the largest indoor venue on campus for events that benefit the entire Ithaca community.”
For more information about the A&E center, visit www.ithaca.edu/giving/aecenter.