Bob and Joyce Everitt, longtime Colorado State University benefactors, have given a total of $500,000 to the fundraising drive to build the university’s McGraw Athletic Center–a gift which helped bring the $8.6 million athletics campaign to a close.
"The Everitts are leaders in the business community, and their continued leadership in helping complete this campaign is greatly appreciated–not only because it helps us with this important project, but because it clearly demonstrates their commitment to the university," said Colorado State President Albert Yates. "Bob and Joyce Everitt can be counted among the true friends of Colorado State."
The Everitts initially gave $50,000 to the campaign, but at the recent Ram Roundup event they added a $450,000 gift to their total contribution. In addition to private funding, $4 million will be raised as a result of a fee increase approved by students coupled with bond financing.
In addition to the Everitt gift, the athletics campaign kicked into high gear when volunteers led the university in raising $450,000 over the past two weeks, bringing the athletics campaign to a close.
Bob Everitt, whose Everitt Companies has been a leader in the Fort Collins real estate business for 45 years, said his company and family support of Colorado State stems from the contributions of the university to the local community.
"I attribute much of the success of the various business ventures … to the continued growth of Colorado State University, both from a population stand-point, as well as a continued increase in the quality of programs the university offers," Everitt said in a letter to Yates accompanying the gift. "Almost every good thing that has happened in and around Fort Collins, at least to some degree, can be attributed to Colorado State University’s continued growth and progress."
Everitt also cited the support from university students as a reason to increase their contributions to the athletic facilities campaign.
"When the students voted to increase their student fee to help fund these new and wonderful facilities, we felt we had not done enough to repay the university for all it has done for our community, as well as for the two of us, and the companies in which we are involved," Bob Everitt said. "We were particularly pleased when it was decided to name the new facility for a wonderful friend of ours by the name of Thurman McGraw."
The university broke ground on the project Monday. The planned McGraw Center, a 50,000 square-foot facility, was designed to bring Colorado State up to the space and facilities standards of other Western Athletic Conference competitors. The center will include academic facilities, sports medicine classrooms and laboratories, expanded weight rooms and training rooms, administrative offices, an auditorium and other needed upgrades.
"When we complete this expansion project, our facilities will be more in keeping with those of our peers in the Western Athletic Conference. This is important because it gives our student athletes the ability to have the resources they need to excel in the classroom as well as the playing field," said Doug Max, interim athletic director. "This facility will also put us in a much better position to continue to recruit top quality student athletes who serve as ambassadors for our university and community."