Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe and Director of Athletics Brad Hewitt dedicated the new Lukas Athletics Annex today. An enthusiastic throng that consisted of University Foundation board members, University administrators, faculty, staff and student-athletes crowded into the main lobby for the ribbon-cutting.
The $5.4 million facility, which is connected to the Vadalabene Center on campus, was made possible through a $4.2 million donation by the Charles S. and Mary L. Lukas Estate. The late couple’s nephew, Bill Lukas, and his wife, Janet, joined in the celebration.
“First, I must thank the family of Charles and Mary Lukas for their generosity and their trust in SIUE’s stewardship,” Furst-Bowe said. “We appreciate this special gift and the opportunities it offers for faculty, staff and students.
“This Annex is a tangible reminder of the expansion the University is undergoing in both academics and athletics. It’s important to our standing within the NCAA and the Ohio Valley Conference that our facilities reflect our dedication to excellence.”
In remarking about the beauty of the new facility, Hewitt reminded everyone that the Annex embraces the Lukas’ formal wishes, noting, “Their support is always to be used to build, renovate or improve any University facility and express their belief in the everlasting impact of an education.”
“If Charles and Mary could be here today, they would be beaming with pride,” Bill Lukas said. “My uncle never had the chance for a formal education, so his financial support to provide educational opportunities for others makes up for that.”
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