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University receives $10M donation for new athletic center

Second-largest naming gift in AU history is part of “Change Can’t Wait” fundraising campaign

American University received a $10 million donation to help fund a new athletics facility that the University plans to build, University President Sylvia Burwell announced in an email to the AU community on Tuesday.

AU Alumnus and Board of Trustees member Alan Meltzer and his wife Amy donated $10 million for the new facility, which will be called the Alan and Amy Meltzer Center for Athletic Performance. This gift follows a $5 million dollar pledge from the Meltzers in 2019. The cumulative donation is the second-largest naming gift in the University’s history.

The Meltzer's donation is the latest in a series of fundraising efforts for the University’s “Change Can’t Wait” campaign, which was announced in May 2021. According to a University press release, as of July 2022, the University has raised $342 million of its $500 million goal. The Meltzer's have offered more funding to the campaign than any other individuals to date. This donation by the Meltzers follows a $3 million donation by the Bender foundation in December 2020 for the Center. 

“The Meltzer Center for Athletic Performance will elevate the AU student experience and propel generations of changemakers to future success,” Burwell wrote in her email.

The Center for Athletic Performance is an $85 million project involving the development of a new Student Well-Being Center and renovations to the Mary Graydon Center, according to the University. The new facility is expected to span 58,000 square feet in an unspecified central location on campus. An updated draft of the 2021 Campus Plan had stated that the center could be located in the northwest quadrant of AU’s campus, as previously reported by The Eagle.

According to the press release, Director of Athletics and Recreation Billy Walker said the center’s “state of the art competition, practice, and training facilities will enhance the development of our student-athletes, ensure their success in and out of competition, and bolster the overall athletic and recreational experience at AU.”

Alan Meltzer, who has served on the Board of Trustees since 2007, is currently the chair of both the Board’s Athletics and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committees. 

In 2019, the Meltzers donated $2 million to the University for the establishment of the Alan L. Meltzer and Amy Meltzer Fellowship for the Center for Israel Studies in the College of Arts of Sciences. The Marilyn Meltzer Wrestling Room was named in honor of Alan’s mother in 1998.

“American University has played a transformational role in our lives, and we are excited to support current and future Eagles as they pursue their purpose,” Alan Meltzer said. “The Center for Athletic Performance and the investment in student thriving will support the unique AU experience that makes this university special.”

As the semester comes to an end and one of the founding members leaves American University, Section 202 has decided to take a trip down memory lane. For our fans, old and new, who are wondering how Section 202 came to be, this episode is a must. Listen along as hosts Connor Sturniolo and Liah Argiropoulos reminisce about the beginning of Section 202 and how it got to where it is now.

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