COLUMBIA — The University of Missouri announced Tuesday that it has received a donation of $8.3 million to help pay for planned athletic facility upgrades.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
The majority of the money, which has been pledged by Mizzou alumnus Don Walsworth and his wife, Audrey, is expected to help pay for significant clubhouse renovations at Old Hawthorne, the home of the Tigers’ golf team. The money will also go toward scholarships, endowments and planned renovations at Memorial Stadium.
It is the second major gift given by Walsworth, who once served on the University of Missouri System Board of Curators and had two children play for Mizzou’s golf team.
“One of the reasons for this gift is that we think the coaches and the staff have to have the proper facilities to compete in the SEC and for national titles,” said Walsworth, whose family has given $14 million to Missouri athletics.
The new clubhouse will house coaches’ offices, locker rooms, indoor heated hitting bays and the latest in swing instruction technology. Missouri athletic director Mike Alden said the renovations, which should cost been $1.5 million to $2 million, should be done by September, and Walsworth was optimistic the facility will immediately be competitive with others around the nation.
“I think it’s going to be in the top 25 percent,” Walsworth said.
The gift is the third significant donation the university’s athletic department has received since the school made the move to the Southeastern Conference. The Kansas City Sports Trust announced a donation of $30 million in June and MU received a $6.4 million donation from an anonymous donor in December, with most of the money slated to go toward different aspects of the school’s $200 million plan for athletic facility improvements.
“Over the course of the last six months, to have three significant gifts like that for a university, I mean, that’s pretty (impressive),” Alden said. “So our hope would be those dominos continue to fall.”
To reach Terez A. Paylor, send email to email@example.com or call 816-234-4489. Follow him at Twitter.com/TerezPaylor.