April 14, 2016
Purdue Football Master Plan
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Two more leadership-level gifts have pushed Purdue Athletics to $20.2 million in commitments to the Football Master Plan, as part of "Ever True: The Campaign for Purdue University."
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new football performance complex will take place Friday night at the Mollenkopf Athletic Center in conjunction with the football program's annual spring game reunion. Fans can follow the festivities beginning at approximately 5:30 p.m. ET via a live stream on the Purdue Athletics Facebook page.
The latest gifts are from Michael and Paula Klipsch and Greg and Kim Wasson. By virtue of their generosity, they join the executive committee of the Purdue National Leadership Circle, an exclusive group -- chaired by Drew and Brittany Brees -- whose goal is to back the Boilermaker football program both financially and by generating additional funding.
"These two Boilermaker couples love their alma mater and want to help in our quest to push the football program to the championship level," Purdue vice president and athletics director Morgan Burke said. "They understand the need for a facility that can both help develop student-athletes already on campus and be an attractive selling point to recruits. I thank them for their financial support and for sharing our aspirations for intercollegiate athletics."
A Purdue graduate and member of the Board of Trustees, Michael Klipsch was a founding partner of Grand Park Fieldhouse, LLC, a 100,000-square-foot multi-use sports facility, which opened in January of 2016 in Westfield, Indiana. He also is involved in several other entrepreneurial ventures. Klipsch recently retired from Klipsch Group, Inc., a loudspeaker company based in Indianapolis, after a 20-year career where he served as president of global operations, executive vice president and chief counsel. Paula (nee Wilczek) also is a Purdue alum and was a letterwinner in swimming in 1985 and 1986. The couple has three children: Ryan, a Purdue graduate; Matthew, a junior at IUPUI; and Erin, a freshman at Purdue. Michael and Paula have been John Purdue Club members since 1986.
"As alumni, Paula and I want to do our part by supporting the football program and Purdue through a leadership gift," Michael Klipsch said. "I grew up a Boilermaker and had the good fortune to earn a degree from Purdue and now have the privilege to serve on the Board of Trustees. Paula and I have been blessed in so many ways, including in no small part by the education and experiences provided during our years at Purdue. Needless to say, I love Purdue and know the value of supporting my team and my school. We are honored and thrilled to give back financially and with our time to our alma mater."
Greg Wasson is co-founder and president of Wasson Enterprise, a family-based investment firm in Chicago. He previously served as chief executive officer for Walgreens from 2009 until his retirement in 2014, after first working for the company as an intern in 1980 while he was a student earning his bachelor's degree in pharmacy from Purdue. Wasson was recognized as a Pharmacy Distinguished Alumnus in 2009, an Old Master in 2013 and received the Career Achievement Award from the College of Pharmacy in 2016. Kim, co-founder and executive vice president of Wasson Enterprise, also worked for Walgreens and has served on the Pharmacy Women of Purdue Committee. She earned her bachelor's degree in pharmacy from Purdue and later went on to earn her doctorate in pharmacy. Their two daughters, Lindsay and Courtney, are Purdue graduates. Greg and Kim have enjoyed attending Boilermaker football games over the years.
"My family and I love Purdue, and we believe it is important to invest now in order to help the football program return to prominence," Greg Wasson said. "We see the football program as a major part of the front porch of the university and a key platform to tell the Purdue story. We are fortunate to support our alma mater in this way."
The Football Master Plan consists of six points: coaching and support staff, player development, academic support, recruiting, fan engagement, and contemporary facilities.
The football performance complex will be built adjacent to the north end of the Mollenkopf Athletic Center. The three-level structure will become the everyday home of the football program -- totaling 110,000 square feet -- and will include a locker room, team meeting room, position group meeting rooms, player development room, sports performance training area, sports medicine facility, fueling station and coaches' offices, as well as a grand entrance lobby that will highlight the Boilermakers' history and tradition.
The state-of-the-art football performance complex will significantly enhance the football student-athlete experience. In addition to the first-class amenities, having all of them located in one facility will result in more efficient use of the student-athletes' time. Currently, football-related facilities are housed in multiple buildings.
The football performance complex is slated to open in August of 2017 and will be a $65 million project. The complex is being designed by Populous, while the construction will be managed by the Hunt Construction Group.
No student fees or state support will be used for the project. It will be debt funded, with future media rights distributions targeted to pay the annual debt service. Purdue Athletics is a self-supporting auxiliary enterprise.
Focusing on three overarching priorities -- "Place Students First," "Build on Our Strengths," and "Champion Research and Innovation" -- Purdue's "Ever True" campaign was announced in October, with a goal of $2.019 billion raised by 2019, the 150th anniversary year of Purdue's founding and the 50th anniversary year of alumnus Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon. The overall goal includes $400 million to $500 million for student support, $400 million to $500 million for faculty support, $400 million to $500 million for research excellence, $300 million to $400 million for physical infrastructure, and $300 million to $400 million for unrestricted giving.