Illinois has a long way to go in building its football program into a Big Ten contender, but a recent gift will help the Illini in building their state-of-the-art football building to help the process move along.
Illinois received a $20 donation from The H.D. Smith Foundation to go toward the University of Illinois Foundation and projects to upgrade the football program. According to The News-Gazette, $15 million of the donation will be used to help fund a new football building.
“To say a simple ‘thank you’ for such an extraordinary gift fails to do justice to the generous investment the Smiths have chosen to make in Illinois Athletics and, specifically, our football program,” Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman said (per The News-Gazette). “It has been my privilege getting to know Dale and Chris since my arrival on campus. For years they have been loyal to the University and supportive of our bold vision for this department. Their investment today will dramatically change our program, and the coming success of the Fighting Illini will be forever tied to them.”
The Football Performance Center is currently under construction at Illinois and is scheduled to be open before the start of the 2019 football season.