Yawkey Gift to Strengthen Athletics

Yawkey Gift to Strengthen Athletics

Foundation will commit $15 million toward new campus sports facility

By Jack Dunn
Director of Public Affairs

Boston College has received a commitment of $15 million from the Yawkey Foundation to help fund a new building and other athletics-related improvements to enhance intercollegiate, intramural, and club sports.

The cost of the new facility, which will be funded through private gifts, will total approximately $26 million.

As part of the plan, a new facility, to be called the Yawkey Athletics Center, will be attached to the north side of Alumni Stadium. It will house the varsity football program, the Office of Learning Resources for Student Athletes and a large function area for general University use, freeing up critically needed space in Conte Forum for women's athletics and other men's teams.

Depending on progress in fundraising - an additional $6 million in private funds is needed to complete the project - construction of the new building will begin after the last home football game this fall. Additional funds also will be needed for the renovation of Conte Forum and other improvements in athletic facilities.

Acknowledging the gift from the Yawkey Foundation, University President William P. Leahy, SJ, said, "Tom and Jean Yawkey had a longstanding relationship of personal support and grants to Boston College, and both wanted to promote excellence in athletics at the University. I am deeply grateful to the Yawkey Foundation and its executive director, John Harrington, for their generous gift and for their continuation of the Yawkey connection to BC."

Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo said the commitment of the Yawkey Foundation "will benefit all involved in our 31 varsity sports and will have a positive effect on so many aspects of athletics on campus.

"Not only will the Yawkey Athletic Center provide a state-of-the-art home for our football team, it will give our Office of Learning Resources the space and equipment needed to help all of our student-athletes maintain their impressive record of academic achievement. It will also provide much-needed office, weight room, training room and locker room space for our women's and Olympic sports. This grant is a home run for all Boston College student-athletes."

By its investment in programs such as Learning Resources, say University administrators, Boston College has consistently ranked in the top five in graduation rates of student-athletes, along with competitor universities Stanford, Duke, Northwestern and Notre Dame.

The Yawkey Foundation was originally founded in 1976 by legendary Boston Red Sox owner Thomas Yawkey. Following his death, his widow Jean established the Yawkey Foundation II in 1982 to further serve the family's charitable goals. Since her death in 1992, the foundation's board of trustees has continued the Yawkeys' legacy, contributing to organizations promoting conservation, education, social services, health care, arts and culture, amateur sports and other activities that reflect the foundation's objectives.


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