Last modified: Tuesday, February 28, 2012
IU Athletics' strength and conditioning facility to be named in honor of Wilkinson gift
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 28, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Fred Glass, Indiana University vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics, announced today, Feb. 28, a new name for IU Athletics' strength and conditioning facility. In recognition of a $1 million gift to provide operating resources to fund equipment and training needs, the facility will now be known as the W. Jay and Nancy Wilkinson Performance Center.
Jay and Nancy Wilkinson, both IU Bloomington alumni, will be honored for their generous support at halftime during tonight's IU men's basketball game vs. Michigan State. (Tipoff is at 7 p.m.)
Dedicated in 2009 as part of Memorial Stadium's North End Zone Student-Athlete Development Center addition, the strength and conditioning facility is one of the largest of its kind in the country. The 25,000-square-foot area is nearly five times the size of the previous weight room. It is at field level, with glass windows looking out to the Memorial Stadium field and seating bowl.
The Wilkinson Performance Center provides 640 student-athletes in every varsity sport with access to weight training and cardio equipment. The facility houses about 150 pieces of equipment, over 11 tons of dumbbells and over 40 tons of free weights.
The center also supports the IU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Excellence Academy, established in 2009 to help IU student-athletes achieve their full academic and athletic potential, compete with integrity and embody the department's recently adopted creed: "The Spirit of Indiana: 24 Sports, One Team."
"We are incredibly thankful to Jay and Nancy for this vital gift that will be used to support the IU Athletics Excellence Academy," Glass said. "These funds will enable us to remain on the cutting edge with equipment and technology as well as attract and retain outstanding sports medicine, training and nutrition staff members."
The Excellence Academy is emerging as one of the nation's most innovative and comprehensive student-athlete development programs. It is unique in its integration of resources to assess, measure and ensure progress toward specific personal development goals as students and as athletes. The academy's comprehensive programming provides for the development of the "whole person" of each student-athlete.
The academy includes an integrated program for student-athletes consisting of leadership and life skills, innovative athletic performance regimens, and sports nutrition, medicine and psychology expertise. It also supports their transition to college, helps integrate them into the broader university and prepares them for life after graduation.
"The Excellence Academy provides our student-athletes with support for the unique challenges student-athletes face," Glass said. "We train their bodies and minds to reach their optimal athletic and academic performance levels while instilling in them the qualities of leadership and service to their university and communities. Our goal is that our student-athletes leave IU as confident young men and women prepared to face the world and join the workforce."
"Nancy and I are incredibly honored to give back to a university that has been so meaningful in our lives," Jay Wilkinson said. "Through my career in staffing and human resources capital, I have gained an overwhelming understanding of how important leadership is in preparing our future sons and daughters to face the challenges post IU with confidence. I have seen countless examples of colleges and universities graduating students unprepared to face tomorrow's challenges. Hopefully, in a small way, our effort will further the mission of the Excellence Academy."
Jay Wilkinson is president and CEO of the Peoplelink family of companies, which is based in South Bend, Ind., and has been recognized as one of the top 100 staffing and human resources companies in the United States. Peoplelink has received multiple awards from Ernst and Young and has been included on Inc. Magazine's top 500 and top 5,000 lists of the fastest-growing privately held firms in the U.S. In fall 2011, Peoplelink partnered with multinational, Paris-based Groupe CRIT.
Jay earned a Bachelor of Science in public affairs from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 1985 and was a commissioned U.S. Army officer through the IU Army ROTC. Nancy graduated in 1986, earning a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications from the College of Arts and Sciences.
The Wilkinsons reside in Granger, Ind., and have three children: Samantha, Alex and Ryan. Their gift will be invested and administered by the IU Foundation.
More information on the IU Athletics Excellence Academy can be found at iuhoosiers.cstv.com/ot/spirit-of-indiana.html.