U of M Athletics on target toward funding goal as public campaign kicks off

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The University of Memphis has already received donations and pledges that amount to 60 percent of its goal in the Time to Shine Capital Campaign, President M. David Rudd and athletics director Tom Bowen announced Wednesday.

“Never before has our university seen such an outpouring of support for a facility of this magnitude,” Bowen said.

More than $24 million of the $40 million goal has been raised. The campaign, which will fund facility additions and improvements, now launches into the public engagement phase.

The donations will all be privately raised and will be purely philanthropic. Gifts do not bring benefits such as special seating or parking.

With the funds from the capital campaign, the U of M will renovate the Billy J. Murphy Athletic Complex, including building a new indoor practice facility and a new basketball practice and training facility. Coaches’ offices and spaces for student-athlete development will also get a makeover.

Rudd is asking Tiger Nation to impact generations of future Tigers.

“Success at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics can be transformative, not just for the University of Memphis, but for the city of Memphis,” he said. “The NCAA landscape is shifting rapidly, and this campaign is vital in order to keep the Tigers at the forefront of these critical changes. The opportunity to position the University of Memphis among the top institutions on the court and on the field is real and one which we must be prepared to capitalize.”

Groundbreaking on the new football and basketball facilities will begin this fall, and work should be mostly completed by the 2017-18 school year.

“These training facilities will enhance our ability to build championship programs by investing in the physical, nutritional and academic resources we provide for our student-athletes and coaches,” Bowen said. “Once completed, we will boast some of the finest practice centers for football and men’s basketball in the country.”

Football head coach Justin Fuente said renovating the Murphy Complex to include coaches’ offices along with the spaces where the student-athletes eat, train and study will create a “true home environment” for the program. The ability to practice indoors, he said, will also be a plus.

“These facilities will be a major step forward for our football program,” he said.

Basketball head coach Josh Pastner echoed these sentiments.

“Constructing a facility of this magnitude is further evidence of the university’s commitment to compete at the highest level,” he said. “We are extremely grateful to the university administration, our generous donors and the fans of Tiger Nation for their support in making this dream a reality for our program.”

Athletics isn’t the only area getting upgrades.

The campaign will continue to invest in transforming the Park Avenue Campus, starting with the dedication Friday of the Community Health Building.

Interim President Brad Martin first announced the campaign in October 2013. A $10 million gift that December by alumni Bill and Nancy Laurie kicked it into full swing.

Supporters can donate to the Time to Shine Capital Campaign in multiple ways:

  • Online
  • Mail donations to: Memphis Athletics Development, 260 Athletic Office Building, Memphis, TN 38152
  • For monthly payments or stock transfers, call (901) 678-2334.
  • For naming opportunities, contact associate athletic director Adam Walker at (901) 678-1720 or adam.walker@memphis.edu.