A St. Thomas trustee and his wife have received a Donor of the Year Award from the National Association of Athletic Development Directors for a gift that led to the construction of the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Center.
Lee and Penny Anderson are recipients of the donor award for the “college” division, which includes institutions in NCAA Divisions II and III and the NAIA, the association announced Monday. Kermit Stroh received the “university” division award (Division I) for a gift to Bowling Green State University.
The awards will be conferred June 17 at the association’s annual convention in Orlando, Fla.
The association cited the Andersons’ $60 million gift to the Opening Doors capital campaign. The gift helped to fund three projects: the athletic and recreation complex, which opened last fall; the Anderson Parking Facility, which opened in 2009; and the Anderson Student Center, which will open in January.
During the Oct. 20 dedication ceremony for the $52 million athletic and recreation complex, Lee Anderson told the audience that “every time I come in, I’m blown away” by the facility. “It is just amazing to me.”
Others have said the same, calling the complex one of the finest in Division III. Students pack the cardio and weight rooms at all hours of the day, the aquatic center is in frequent use, and last weekend St. Thomas was host for the MIAC indoor track and field meets in the field house and three NCAA men’s basketball playoff games in Schoenecker Arena.
Last October, the Andersons received the National Catholic Education Association’s highest honor – the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award – for their support of Catholic education.