DeMartin Gift Provides Momentum For Old College Field Project
Jan. 30, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State University Athletics Department recently received the largest cash gift in the history of its men's and women's soccer programs, a $750,000 contribution from Doug and Valerie DeMartin of Summit, N.J., to renovate the soccer stadium at Old College Field. The soccer facility will officially be named DeMartin Soccer Stadium.
Doug DeMartin graduated from MSU's Eli Broad School of Business in 1980 with a degree in accounting and in 1982, he earned a master's degree in finance. After graduation, Doug worked for Ernst & Young in Chicago and later joined Merrill Lynch. While at Merrill Lynch, he quickly moved up the corporate ladder, becoming a managing director and head of global production. Doug attributes his professional growth to staying focused on his job, working hard and utilizing his MSU education "to pursue a successful career on Wall Street." His gift to the Old College Field project was largely a reflection of his positive experience at MSU.
Last August, Doug decided to retire and spend more time with his family (Louise, 15; Isabelle, 13; and William, 9) and pursue other interests in the charitable and investment arenas.
The Old College Field project is a $6.8 million venture that will renovate the soccer, baseball and softball facilities. The Athletics Department launched the project in April 2005.
The DeMartin's gift will directly support the renovation of the soccer facility at Old College Field. The soccer facility renovations include the construction of new grandstands, bringing the seating capacity to 2,500 and enabling MSU to host conference and national tournaments. In addition, the site will be reconfigured to provide for a competitive playing field, along with a new press box and practice field.
"This gift is one of the most significant contributions our Athletics Department has received, and it provides the Old College Field project the momentum it needs to move forward," MSU Athletics Director Ron Mason said.
"This significant gift will afford approximately 60 male and female soccer student-athletes with an incredibly meaningful opportunity to practice and compete in a state-of-the-art facility," MSU Senior Associate Athletics Director Shelley Appelbaum said. "We have sincere gratitude to the DeMartin Family for their generosity to MSU Athletics."
"This facility will soon rank among the best in the Big Ten Conference, so it will be a great asset in recruiting as MSU demonstrates its commitment to excellence in soccer," MSU head women's soccer coach Tom Saxton said. "All of us involved with Michigan State soccer deeply appreciate the tremendous gift that the DeMartins have made to MSU Athletics and our soccer programs."
"If MSU soccer presented a lifetime support award, it would be given to Doug and Valerie DeMartin for their vision and commitment to the future success of the Spartan men's and women's programs," MSU head men's soccer coach Joe Baum said.
The DeMartins have a long history of philanthropic support to MSU Athletics, including a previous gift to the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Academic Center. When asked why they chose to support the Old College Field project, Doug stated that "it's important to support the non-revenue side of MSU Athletics, especially when the facility needs a significant upgrade." In addition, his nephew (Doug DeMartin from Mason, Mich.) is a current member of the Spartan men's soccer team, so he's well aware of the program's facility needs.
"As the sport of soccer grows in popularity nationwide, its importance at MSU will increase exponentially," DeMartin said. "MSU needs a facility that helps both the men's and women's soccer programs be competitive at a national level. All elements of a successful program will come into play with a new world-class stadium: recruiting, fan support, fundraising and student involvement should all be enhanced by this new facility."
The DeMartin Soccer Stadium will be dedicated to Doug's parents, Roland and Louise DeMartin, residents of Lansing, Mich. Although his parents are both University of Michigan graduates, "they have become great Spartan fans during their 60 years in the Lansing area," DeMartin said. "My motivation to dedicate this facility to them is that of a grateful son. I want to publicly recognize them for their positive impact on my life and their contributions to the greater Lansing community."
For more information about contributing to the Old College Field project, please contact Anna Barber in the Athletic Development Office: (517) 432-4634.
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