Robins Foundation awards $8 million to University of Richmond for on-campus stadium and Westhampton Center
January 3, 2008
The Robins Foundation has awarded two grants totaling $8 million to the University of Richmond to help construct an expanded on-campus stadium and new Westhampton Center.
A $5 million grant will be used to complete the fundraising to expand the university's existing on-campus stadium into a multi-sport venue serving the football, lacrosse, soccer and track programs. The stadium currently hosts Richmond's lacrosse, soccer and track programs.
The $3 million grant will help construct a new building adjacent to the existing Westhampton College Deanery that will serve as the foundation for the Westhampton Center project. The project includes the existing Deanery, the new building and a range of new programs and resources specially designed to meet the needs of women students. The gift will allow the university to move forward with construction of the new building, while it continues to raise funds to support the new services the Westhampton Center will provide.
"For nearly 40 years, the Robins family has stepped forward with remarkable generosity at pivotal moments in the University of Richmond's history," said UR President Edward L. Ayers. "I am deeply grateful for the Robins family's extraordinary leadership and support, which has touched every area of the university, and which, in this instance, will foster continued excellence in intercollegiate athletics and the continued vitality of Westhampton College."
The expanded stadium will hold a maximum of 9,000 spectators, approximately the same seating capacity of the Robins Center, home of Richmond's men's and women's basketball teams. The university is currently working with the city of Richmond to secure a special use permit, in order to proceed with the construction process. University officials expect the stadium project to be completed in time for the football team's 2010 home opener. With the Robins Foundation grant, total funds raised for the stadium project now exceed $25 million.
"The Robins family is synonymous with the University of Richmond and Spider athletics," said UR Athletic Director Jim Miller. "This grant from the Robins Foundation completes our fundraising efforts for the on-campus stadium and will have a significant positive impact on the University of Richmond. The on-campus stadium will not only enhance our athletic program, but also provide a venue for students, alumni, faculty, staff, and members of the local community to gather to celebrate their association with the university. We are grateful to the Robins Foundation for investing in Spider athletics."
The Westhampton Center project will further strengthen the vital role that Westhampton College serves within the university community. In addition to housing new services, the center will strengthen existing programs, such as the Women Involved in Living and Learning (WILL) program and the Women in the Know annual alumnae conference.
The new 5,400-square-foot facility will provide much-needed meeting space for student groups as well as enhanced student support services. The new facility also will provide informal study space, office space for professional staff members, and social space for alumnae gatherings.
"The Westhampton Center builds upon the university's strong history of women's education," said Westhampton College Dean Juliette Landphair. "Westhampton College's vision is built upon the transformative values of our predecessors, and my staff and I are grateful to the Robins Foundation, Westhampton alumnae and our students for their role in moving this significant heritage forward."
The total cost of constructing the Westhampton Center and offering new programs will be $10 million. With the Robins Foundation grant, the total raised for the project now exceeds $4.5 million in gifts from nearly 150 donors, including both Westhampton alumnae and current students. The building is currently slated to be completed in 2010.