George Fox receives $2.5 million donation for new athletic complex
Gift from Marilyn and John Duke brings total raised to $4.6 million, nearly three-quarters of the $6.5 million fundraising goal
By George Fox University
NEWBERG, Ore. (Aug. 19, 2011) – A $2.5 million gift from philanthropists Marilyn and John Duke has pushed George Fox University closer to its fundraising goal for the Austin Sports Complex, a project under construction on 23 acres of land a half-mile north of its main Newberg, Ore., campus.
The gift brought the total raised to $4.6 million – nearly three-quarters of the $6.5 million fundraising goal – and represented one of the largest single cash gifts in university history. The funds will be applied to construction costs of the athletic center at the complex, designed to accommodate Division III football, soccer and lacrosse while also serving as a facility for the entire Newberg, Ore., community.
Crews began work on the complex in the summer of 2010 and completed the first phase in time to accommodate Bruin soccer games last fall.
The Dukes’ gift provided a boost that will allow construction to begin on the athletic center, a 15,000-square-foot facility that will include an athletic training room, locker rooms, equipment storage rooms, a press box, offices and a weight room for the new Stoffer Family Stadium, future home of the George Fox football team. Football will return to the university in the fall of 2013 after a 44-year hiatus from the sport.
In announcing the donation, the Dukes, a southern Oregon couple who have supported the school financially for more than 25 years, said it reflected their commitment to support the quality of education at George Fox.
“The Dukes’ donation is not simply a gift to support football at George Fox University,” George Fox President Robin Baker said. “This represents their commitment to what we at George Fox provide – an education in which students will be known personally, academically and spiritually. The Dukes recognize that some of life’s most meaningful and important lessons can be learned outside of the classroom. Athletics is one of those arenas. It’s where many of our young people learn lessons in leadership, mentoring, teamwork and work ethic.”
The Dukes have been consistent financial supporters of the university since the early 1980s, when their two daughters, Julie and Cindy, attended the school. Initially, the Dukes’ support went to building projects such as Bauman Auditorium and the university’s library, the Murdock Learning Resource Center. They later created the Duke Endowed Scholarship Fund that continues to provide financial assistance for students.
The addition of football marks the return of a long-time tradition to the university: George Fox, with the exception of a brief period in the late 1920s and during World War II, fielded a football team from 1894 to 1968. More about the football program is available at georgefox.edu/football.
In addition to adding football, George Fox will add women’s lacrosse in 2013. Currently, George Fox offers 15 intercollegiate sports – eight for women and seven for men.
George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian colleges in the country. George Fox is the only Christian university in the Pacific Northwest classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first tier national university. More than 3,400 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem, and Redmond, Ore., and Boise, Idaho. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, five seminary degrees, and 11 master’s and doctoral degrees.
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