This was the day.
We were excited last June when the Board of Governors approved the Master Plan.
We were excited when Pat Hobbs put out the video announcing the R B1G Build campaign.
But now...now we know how it's been going.
Oh, it's been going well....really, really well.
At a press conference today, AD Pat Hobbs announced that the fundraising campaign announced in January had raised over $29 million in donations. Combine with the $25 million tax credits, the goal is more than half way there. And that in just four months.
The initiative has received 10 donations of more than $1 million, including the three largest gifts in Rutgers Athletics history, which combine to exceed $11 million. The record-setting major gifts were provided by Chairman of the Rutgers Board of Governors and Motorola Solutions CEOand his wife Anna, noted real estate developer Steven Plofker and makeup mogul Bobbi Brown, and business leaders and philanthropists Jeff and Amy Towers.
It was Towers who made headlines under former coach Kyle Flood when he was rumored to be in line for a post as a recruiting coordinator, or some similar position not long after guaranteeing Flood's salary. He also stepped up in support of Flood last fall; apparently Flood's removal did not stop him from backing Rutgers.
"This is a pivotal moment in history for Rutgers Athletics," said Jeff Towers. "Membership in the Big Ten provides Rutgers the platform to tap into the riches of the largest sports and media market in America. As the only Power 5 program in this region, Rutgers has every reason to be optimistic about its chances to field championship teams in every sport. That won't happen, however, without the facilities student-athletes need to train at a championship level. The Big Ten Build Campaign represents a paradigm shift for Rutgers Athletics and is an opportunity for the Rutgers Nation to build a program it can be proud of. As rabid college sports fans who have come to love Rutgers, Amy and I couldn't let this opportunity pass without doing our part in getting this campaign off to a great start."
Hobbs talked of "the incredible sense of optimism" that exists among many publics that he encounters. Not only in New Jersey but across the country.
The entire building plan was set out in the Master Plan adopted last June. The renderings that are on the R B1G Build site have buildings that are quite different from what is included in the Master Plan. And it may not be done.
As has been rumored for a while, the #Rutgers BOG approved facilities plan from last June has been tweaked since AD Pat Hobbs arrived.— Ryan Dunleavy (@rydunleavy) May 10, 2016
We had some criticisms of it, and apparently Pat Hobbs is looking at things differently as well.
While some, including myself, speculated that there would be corporate involvement in order to get a big boost, none was announced. And maybe that's a good thing. As the back door "negotiations" go on, major gifts from business could end up being the coup de grace needed to finish the project. Or name it.
Interested in donating? Here's where to go: R B1G Build
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