Spartans receive $10M donation for expansion, renovation of football building

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Michigan State continues to pour resources into its football program, announcing on Saturday a $10 million donation toward the expansion and renovation of the Tom Izzo Football Building.

The expansion and renovation will include a grand entrance, improvements to the football auditorium, and the creation of new player lockers, informal meeting spaces, and recovery modalities, as well as a dining and nutrition area.

Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker gives a thumbs up to the fans after a 48-31 win by Michigan State University over Western Kentucky University, at Spartan Stadium, in East Lansing, October 2, 2021.

The project also features areas which will benefit student-athletes from multiple sports, including an expanded weight room with strength and conditioning technology and mental health and wellness spaces.

“This facility is about competing for championships,” Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker said, thanking the Williamses for the donation. “If we can recruit high-level talent, and provide our student-athletes the ability to prepare, rest and recover, and have an enhanced social experience, we will be positioned for success here at Michigan State.”

The donation comes after United Wholesale Mortgage president and CEO Mat Ishbia donated $32 million to the athletics department in February with $20 million allotted for the football building.

“Michigan State Athletics is grateful for Greg and Dawn, their friendship and philanthropic leadership,” MSU athletic director Alan Haller said. “Their gift moves us forward in a lot of ways and furthers our mission to provide a transformative experience for all Spartan student-athletes.

More: Spartans receive $10M donation for expansion, renovation of football building

"What I appreciate the most is the Williams’ pride in and commitment to our local community and recognizing how partnering with Michigan State can have a broad, positive impact.”

Greg Williams is the CEO and president of Acrisure, a Grand Rapids area company that describes itself as “a fintech leader and among the world’s top 10 insurance brokerages.”

“We have long admired Coach Izzo and what he has achieved at MSU and the impact he and Lupe have had on the community,” Greg Williams said in a statement.

"Sustaining excellence for over 25 years is a remarkable accomplishment and I hope everyone understands this. Supporting the football program, and particularly a facility that honors Tom, was important to us.

"In addition, we love Mel’s passion and relentless mentality … Mel’s commitment to success and his sense of urgency is inspiring and that’s part of this gift as well.”

Added Dawn Williams, “We’re really excited about the overall leadership that’s in place right now in Spartan Athletics. There’s a relationship element to this gift. It wouldn’t have happened if not for the winning combination of people, energy, and the enthusiasm at MSU today.”

When Ishbia, a member of the 2000 national championship basketball team, made his donation, he requested the football building be named after his former coach.

“Lupe and I are grateful for Greg and Dawn’s friendship and the values we share, specifically a belief that there is something special about our community,” Izzo said in a statement.

“As I got to know Greg and studied how he built such a successful company, I realized that culture is one of the most important ingredients for any team. That’s how we built ours. The incredible generosity that Dawn & Greg have shown will not only impact our football program, but all of our student-athletes and the Michigan State community.”

Twitter: @mcharboneau