Nazareth College announced today it has received the largest single gift in the school's history, $7.5 million from philanthropist and Paychex founder Tom Golisano.
It will go toward the construction of a new athletic training facility that school officials say will bring together the strengths of the college, Special Olympics and the Golisano Foundation.
Nazareth College President Daan Braveman says the Golisano Training Center will serve three purposes: it will provide an indoor track, fields, fitness areas, and training facilities.
It will also enable the college to partner with Special Olympics, which will use the center for training and events.
"The third thing it will allow us to do, it will allow students in our health and human services programs to work closely with Special Olympians with respect to wellness, and fitness," he said.
Braveman says that's part of the Healthy Communities agenda, which is focused on making sure people with intellectual disabilities have the same access to wellness and fitness as everyone else.
And since Nazareth has many programs within health and human services, they'll be able to work with Special Olympians to develop those wellness programs.
Golisano Foundation Executive Director Ann Costello, and Special Olympian Mike Worboys talk about the new facility:
Golisano did not attend the event at Nazareth, but issued this statement:
"This new Training Center will have an immediate, positive impact on people with disabilities, advancing the Foundation's goal of fostering understanding, acceptance and inclusion. It is also a unique opportunity to bring together the strengths and resources of Nazareth College, the Golisano Foundation and Special Olympics, serving as a model for Healthy Community partnerships in other regions of the U.S. and the world."
The goal is to complete the $15.5 million project in time for the fall 2018 semester.
Nazareth College President Daan Braveman says this will provide many opportunities for students and Special Olympians.