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Aquinas College Breaks Ground For New Athletic Building

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – On September 25, 2013, the official groundbreaking of the Aquinas College Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building – formerly referred to as “Phase II” – will take place at 10:30 a.m. Named for the family of Greg Alksnis ’71 and the lead donor to the project, the Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building will house a 200-meter NCAA-certified track and a turf infield that will also feature portable courts for use by intramural and junior varsity teams. In addition, the space will accommodate indoor practice for baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse.

Greg Alksnis ‘71, co-owner of Magic Steel Corporation and an Aquinas Trustee Emeritus was a scholarship athlete at Aquinas. Greg was a star on the golf team and continued to distinguish himself on the links as an amateur throughout his life. An Aquinas College 2006 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, Greg is one of only three golfers to win the “Grand Slam” of the four local major titles.

Greg’s wife, Sally, is an athlete in her own right. She has competed in numerous sports, has been a runner and body builder, has taught archery and shooting, and now channels her passion for athletics into the equestrian sport of dressage.

“Aquinas College provided the opportunity for me to develop in body, mind and spirit,” said Greg Alksnis. “College athletics whether they are Intramural, team or club competition are important to the overall college experience. It has been my desire to support Aquinas in its commitment to promote a healthy competitive spirit in its students along with the value of maintaining a healthy body throughout their lives. ” He added, “I owe much gratitude to my parents who instilled in me a strong work ethic which was nurtured further during my years as an Aquinas student and athlete. I am proud that in recognition of my parents the new facility will bear the Alksnis name.”

The Alksnises chose to support the Intramural & Recreation Building project because of their commitment to the College and its students, and in the spirit of paying forward the help Greg received as a developing athlete.

“Aquinas College is grateful to Greg and Sally Alksnis for their unwavering support and commitment to the college and its students,” said Dr. Juan R. Olivarez, president of Aquinas College. “Their generous lead gift of $1.5 million to this building will benefit the athletes, the total student body, and the Aquinas and broader community today and in to the future.” President Olivarez stated, “We are proud to name the new facility after the Alksnis family.”

The Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building will complete the $14 million athletic complex begun with the construction of the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center which opened in November, 2010.

What: Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building Groundbreaking – over 450 students in attendance
When: Wednesday, September 25, 10:30 am
Where: 1580 Fulton St. – Convenient parking right in front of the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center

BUILDING FEATURES: (Site Plans)
• Close to 70,000 square feet
• 200 meter, NCAA-certified track with all of the amenities for track and field events
• Wooden floor courts for basketball, volleyball, cheerleading and dance
• Practice areas for baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, golf and intramurals
• Extensive curtaining system will allow for multiple uses simultaneously