Athletics News
State Farm Center Leadership Gifts Announced

Feb. 12, 2014

Illinois Renaissance Website | Seating Options | Naming Opportunities

One of the 19 interactive sport displays at State Farm Center. Click here to see more renderings
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - More than 40 donors have provided generous gifts designated to the renovation of State Farm Center. Working closely with the Office of Athletic Development, donors have had the opportunity to make a significant impact by making contributions to name various locations within the facility. In addition to gifts previously announced, these 40 donors combined to raise more than $9 million in leadership gifts. Many of these donors will leave a lasting legacy by naming such areas as:

Phillip and Heidi Sarnecki: $500,000, Phillip and Heidi Sarnecki Men's Coaches Locker Room.
H.D. Smith Foundation: $500,000, Sports Medicine Facility.
Dennis Swanson: $500,000, Swanson Family Illini Media Center.
Jeff Kautz: $250,000, Kautz Family Dining Room.
Many donors requested that their gifts be kept anonymous.

"These 40 donors are made up of families, privately owned companies and private foundations," UI Director of Athletics Mike Thomas said. "When asked to be involved, each accepted a leadership role within our campaign, and each gift will make a tremendous impact. In my time here I've been very impressed with overall willingness of our supporters to help us reach our philanthropic goals."

The Office of Athletic Development has also worked with donors to solicit gifts in support of the 19 interactive Fighting Illini sport displays that will enhance SFC's fan attraction. Of the 19 available displays, donors have currently committed contributions to fund 18, with each display naming opportunity set at $100,000.

"It has been a real honor working with our loyal alumni and fans as we strive to reach our SFC campaign goals," said Associate Athletics Director for Development Howard Milton. "These gifts are a reflection of the wonderful relationships members of our team enjoy. Besides wanting to leave a lasting legacy, many of our donors made these generous gifts in the hopes of making an impact on Fighting Illini men's and women's basketball, as well as impacting the arts and entertainment this facility will provide for Central Illinois."

Information on the I FUND

The I FUND remains true to the founding principle of college sports: cultivating and preparing Illinois student-athletes to be leaders in industry, business and community. The I FUND strives to provide the best in support services, athletic facilities and academic opportunities for all Fighting Illini student-athletes. This is only possible through the continued generosity of those private individuals, families and businesses involved in the I FUND program. By providing funding to meet the rising costs of financing each student's education, lifelong fans and loyal alumni are able to connect on a very personal level with Illinois student-athletes and the Fighting Illini athletic teams.

Make an Impact. Leave a Legacy. Join the I FUND team! Call today 217.333.6595 for Champaign or 312.575.7850 for Chicago.