Smith Center gets $2 million donation

The University has received a $2 million donation toward the ongoing Smith Center renovations from a donor who chose to remain anonymous, University President Steven Knapp announced at Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Laurel Price Jones, vice president for advancement, said Friday that the anonymous gift puts fundraising efforts at $6.6 million, past the University’s target of $6 million to secure a matching donation from the Smith-Kogod foundation.

The final cost of renovations is expected to be $43 million, $25 million of which will come from fundraising and donations. The University plans to raise a total of $15 million, and a total of $10 million will come from the Smith-Kogod donation – which is the largest in University history – as long as the University raises at least that much money.

The remaining $18 million will be funded by debt, Alicia O’Neil, now a senior associate vice president, said in September.

Dan Rocha, executive director of athletic development, said the response he has been getting from those he has contacted to secure gifts has been encouraging.

“People are really responding to it because they’re seeing it as the heart of the campus in a lot of ways,” Rocha said. “We’re pretty much where we want to be right now. It’s a three-year campaign . we’re making steady progress.”

The renovations are currently in the second of three phases, Assistant Director of Athletics for Facilities Jason Wilson said in April. The second phase is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of the fall semester, with the third beginning in March 2010.

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