The university received an unprecedented $50 million donation today, the second-largest gift in its history and the largest in support of athletics.
The gift, made by Peter and Susan Cooper of Newport Beach, Calif., will bolster an existing athletics leadership program and fund renovations on the Multi-Sport Facility.
The three-year-old student leadership initiative will be renamed the Cooper Athletics Leadership Program, while the Multi-Sport Facility, which will be entirely renovated in around 12 to 18 months, will be renamed Cooper Field.
University President John J. DeGioia announced the donation in a university-wide email tonight, emphasizing the role CALP will play in supporting the education of Georgetown’s 750 student-athletes.
“The Coopers’ investment in our community will allow us to strengthen opportunities for students engaged in intercollegiate athletics and will help them prepare for leadership throughout their lives,” DeGioia wrote.
The Coopers’ five children attended Georgetown from 2002 to 2010. Four of the five children participated in varsity athletics, with three sons on the football team and one daughter on the swim team. In addition, Peter Cooper has served two terms on the university board of directors from 2001 to 2006 and 2007 to 2013.
Cooper said he and his wife realized the importance of developing leadership in student-athletes after their children had participated in the athletics program.
“Sue and I are thrilled to share in providing a leadership curriculum and experience for student-athletes. We believe that athletics and academics combine to provide an ideal crucible to create future leaders,” Peter Cooper wrote in a statement on the Georgetown Athletics website.
According to the university website, CALP will provide a four-year curriculum to educate student-athletes on elements of leadership, theories of influence and preprofessional skills. The donation will also fund research and professional development training for coaches.
CALP will house the existing Hoyas Lead, a university initiative founded in 2012 that provides academic guidance and support for student athletes. Assistant Athletics Director and Director of Student-Athlete Leadership and Development Mike Lorenzen will lead the CALP initiative, after having served as director of Hoyas Lead.
The Multi-Sport Facility will undergo renovations in its seating areas and locker rooms, in addition to other facility improvements.
In his email, DeGioia said that the field is central to the university community and the planning of on-campus construction.
“The Multi-Sport Field’s location in the heart of the campus is an important focus in our planning for the future,” DeGioia wrote. “As we work to create pathways that connect the academic, recreation and social hubs on campus, improvements to the Multi-Sport Field and the surrounding area will help bring our vision to reality, improving our physical spaces for all members of our university community.”
A full story will appear in Friday’s issue.
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