UI athletics gets $1 million donation

UI athletics gets $1 million donation

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois athletics announced another seven-figure donation Tuesday, as the Bielfeldt Foundation has committed $1 million to provide updates to the Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building and to help fund construction of the Football Performance Center. Gary and Carlotta Bielfeldt provided the funding in 1996 for the construction of the athletics administration building that bears their name.

The more recent gift will be used to refurbish and complete maintenance projects at the Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building. Renovation of the development areas and the main lobby are two of the primary projects.

"We are grateful to the Bielfeldt Foundation, and especially to our friends Gary and Carlotta, for their continued investment in Illinois Athletics," Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman said. "Their generosity, both in the past and again today, has transformed our physical space and allowed us to cultivate a culture among our staff and student-athletes that is truly one of a kind.

"Between full- and part-time staff, coaches, and student-athletes, our athletic program now numbers well above 1,000 people, and the Bielfeldt Building provides all of these stakeholders space to collaborate and support each other in their daily efforts to achieve excellence in every facet of the Illinois Athletics experience. The Bielfeldts' generosity will ensure that the building, now in its 22nd year, remains as vibrant today and into the future as the day it opened. Similarly, their support of the football project will open a new building that will have an equally transformational effect on a growing, vital component of our athletic program."

The Bielfeldt Foundation gift will also provide upgrades to parts of the building in carpet replacement and the replacement of lighting with more energy efficient LED fixtures. These improvements will result in more efficient and expanded office areas for the growing administrative and coaching staffs for Fighting Illini Athletics.

"Through their unwavering loyalty and selfless generosity, certain families have left an indelible mark on the proud tradition of Fighting Illini Athletics," Whitman said. "Gary and Carlotta Bielfeldt, along with their children and now their grandchildren, have ensured that the Bielfeldt family legacy will live forever and that the impact of their giving will be felt by generations of Illinois staff, coaches, and student-athletes. We cannot thank the Bielfeldt family and the Bielfeldt Foundation enough for their support of our vision for the bold future for Illinois Athletics."

The gift is included in the $300 million fundraising goal for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, which is part of "With Illinois," the recently announced $2.25 billion University-wide fundraising campaign.