Education

Rutgers ​Receives Historic $15​ Million​ Gift for New Athletic Facilities, 2030 Master Plan

10e2dc1b599fccfa7bb5_RU_Academic_Success_-_View_2.jpg
Artists rendering of the Gary and Barbara Rodkin Center for Academic Success. Credits: Rutgers Athletics
10e2dc1b599fccfa7bb5_RU_Academic_Success_-_View_2.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers Athletics ​march toward having athletic facilities comparable with other Big 10 schools received a stunning boost: a record $15 million donation to support the services of 700 student​ athletes,

​.The money is being earmarked towards the Gary and Barbara Rodkin Center for Academic Success, named after the two donors of the same names, near High Point Solutions Stadium on the Busch campus in Piscataway.

“It’s fitting that the largest gift in Athletics history is focused on the academic success of our student-athletes,” said Director of Athletics Patt Hobbs. ”Gary and Barbara wanted to marry their two passions, academics and athletics.”

Sign Up for E-News

The building will consolidate the academic services for the university's 700 student athletes, according to the Feb. 5 ​university ​statement. Currently, those are run out of the Hale Center, adjacent to the ​football stadium.

Artists rendering of the Gary and Barbara Rodkin Center for Academic Success. Credit: Rutgers Athletics 

University officials will also move the training facilities for the men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse programs into the center, as well as athletics administration. The center will be ​built between Yurak Field and the stadium.

The newly​-​unveiled center goes beyond the initial proposals laid out in the plans for the lacrosse and soccer support center, which would have been constructed in the same location.

Those prior renderings called for the center to be two stories ​tall ​and feature lounges, meeting spaces, training spaces and strength and conditioning areas.

While those ​features ​will be in the newly announced center, the initial plans did not call for accommodating the academic and administrative functions.

Monday’s announcement marks the second step of the university’s “R B1G Build,” an ambitious, $100 million facelift of Rutgers’ athletic facilities.

Launched in Jan. 2016, the campaign raised just over $92 million as of Feb. 5, 2018, to fund the athletic department’s overhaul.

University officials unveiled the athletic physical master plan at the June 2015 Rutgers Board of Governors meeting. The plan mapped out what university officials envisioned the athletics facilities ​would ​ look like by 2030.

The first project, still under construction, is the RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center, adjacent to the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) and Rutgers Business School​ on the Livingston campus in Piscataway.​

Artists rendering of the RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center, Credit: Rutgers Athletics 

Once completed in July 2019, the 295,000-square-foot, four​-​story sports facility and parking deck will service the wrestling and gymnastic programs and the men’s and women’s basketball teams. RWJBarnabas paid $18 million towards the center’s construction and the Rutgers sports medicine program.

"We strongly believe that the success in athletics not only instills pride in our 500,000 alumni, but across the entire state of New Jersey," Gary Rodkin said. “We really hope that this gift inspires other alumni and New Jersey residents to give what they can. Rutgers is already recognized as a great public University, and we want to help make it second to none."

Having both graduated in the 1970s from Rutgers College, the Rodkins have a lengthy track record of $5 million in donations to the university, including the Big Ten Build, Douglass Residential College, the Center for Social Justice LGBT Emergency Fund, and $2 million towards the Rutgers Honors College.

Gary Rodkin is most well known for his position as CEO of the Omaha, NE-based ConAgra Foods. A Piscataway native, Gary attended almost every football game over the course of a decade.

"Barbara and I are very pleased with the progress Bob Barchi and his excellent team have made, and where the Strategic Plan is headed," Rodkin said. "We have been very fortunate in our lives and we want to share. That's very fundamental to who we are. We much prefer to do this now, rather than later in life, so we can see and experience the impact on our students and university for many years to come."

Rutgers President Robert Barchi praised the Rodkins for their donation to the university.

"Among my highest priorities has been to improve the academic resources for all our students," Barchi said. “This gift from Gary and Barbara will further our aspiration to be recognized as one of the world's premier universities. I want to thank the Rodkins for their remarkable leadership in helping our student-athletes achieve the highest academic standards."

Editor Daniel J. Munoz, dmunoz@tapinto.nettwitter.com/DanielMunoz100

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

Vets4Warriors Gives Struggling Veterans a Lifeline

February 18, 2018

Fatima Aguilar’s first day on the job at Vets4Warriors was anything but normal. A military veteran who’s currently enlisted as a Second Lieutenant with the New Jersey National Guard, she found herself in a potential suicide crisis situation as soon as she hit the phones.

“I started around three and a half years ago on the overnight shift, and my very first call was a US ...

South Brunswick: Volunteer Soccer Coach Charged With Possessing And Distributing Child Pornography

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A volunteer youth soccer coach and former Sunday school teacher is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, officials said Thursday.

FBI agents and local law enforcement arrested Waldo Milla-Guerra, 49, at his Kendall Park home Thursday morning after executing a search warrant, officials said.

Milla-Guerra, a volunteer soccer coach with the ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

Rep. Watson Coleman Statement on Indictment of 13 Russian Nationals

February 20, 2018

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) issued the following statement in response to the announcement by the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller of indictments of Russian businesses and nationals for a criminal conspiracy to interfere with the presidential election in 2016:

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments are the latest ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, March 4, 3:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Staatskapelle Weimar

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 7, 2:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

Arts & Entertainment

Library Hosts Program On Joint Replacement Surgery

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital partner to present the special medical program “Considering Total Joint Replacement in 2018” at the library on Tuesday, March 6 at 7 pm.

Lead by board certified orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Kayiaros, the program gives a brief overview of arthritis of ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

EBPD: Safeguarding Students, Staff, and Residents in the Public Schools

February 20, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The East Brunswick Police Department, in cooperation with the East Brunswick Board of Education, will be assisting the school security staff by providing police officers at our township public schools. It is the goal of the East Brunswick Police Department and the East Brunswick Board of Education to safeguard our students, staff and residents at our schools on a daily basis ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...