EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State University officially dedicated the Lasch Family Golf Center, the new 15,000-square-foot home of the MSU men's and women's golf teams, on Wednesday, June 1.
The $6 million Lasch Family Golf Center includes an indoor practice area, student-athlete lounge, men's and women's locker rooms, coaches' offices, video room, weight room and a kitchen area featuring nutrition/hydration stations. The men's and women's programs moved into the building in February.
The MSU Board of Trustees voted to approve naming the facility the Lasch Family Golf Center in June 2015 after Richard W. (Rick) and Suzanne Lasch of East Lansing made a $2 million gift toward the building.
Site demolition of the previously existing Rearick Golf Center started in May 2015 and the project was substantially completed in March 2016. The building is 15,000 square feet, including the indoor practice area, which is over 5,000 square feet. In addition, enhancements were made to the outdoor Fox Family Putting Green. The site also includes the "Three Moons Rising" sculpture by Jeff Kahn, which is the first wind-driven piece of art on the Michigan State campus.
The gift was in support of Empower Extraordinary -- the campaign for Michigan State. Through Empower Extraordinary, MSU Athletics seeks to raise $262 million in support of building championship-level facilities, increasing its endowment and elevating annual gifts. All gifts made through the Spartan Fund during the campaign count toward the goal to support MSU Athletics and its mission to "teach, support and celebrate (MSU) student-athletes in their quest for excellence."
Bob and Julie Skandalaris gave the first leadership gift to the golf center with $3 million, but at their request, the naming opportunity for the facility remained open in their hope to honor and motivate other donors.
"The new golf complex goes back to our mission statement and will be a new place to gather and engage," said MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis. "We continue to say that this campaign will transform our entire department and the Lasch's gift is another great example as we continue to build momentum."
Rick Lasch graduated with a B.A. in marketing from the Broad College of Business in 1990.
"I know we all have a great sense of pride in terms of how the building was completed and finished," said Lasch at the dedication ceremony. "To the architects, the builders and the landscapers, a real sincere thank you from me and my family to you.
"It's one thing to have your name on the side of a building, but to have your name on the side of a building like this and a facility like this that is going to help so many people challenge and achieve the greatness that they're pursuing at Michigan State is very rewarding.
"To say that this is a special day for me and my family is an understatement. As we became involved with the Spartan Fund we became increasingly impressed with the true sense of camaraderie and teamwork across the different athletic programs and the athletic department, which is evidenced by all the coaches that came out for this event to support each other.
"We wanted to make an impact with a non-revenue sport and we really liked that it benefited both men and women student-athletes at Michigan State. We thought that this would aid the effort and support two very hard-working and wonderful coaches in Stacy (Slobodnik-Stoll) and Casey (Lubahn)."
The gifts and new facility build on the momentum of the MSU men's and women's golf programs.
MSU women's golf has won 11 Big Ten Championships -- second most in conference history -- including five under head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll. The team has earned a bid to the NCAA Regionals in 17 of the last 18 seasons.
"After having the Rearick Center for 12 years and now looking at what we have today, I would say that we have arrived," Slobodnik-Stoll said on Wednesday. "I'm just so humbled and appreciative to each one of you who has made an impact on our lives, and who will make an impact on our student-athletes for decades to come. It really is just an incredible facility.
"Everything we do in the athletic department really just comes down to one thing: giving opportunities to student-athletes. This facility, as you walk through it today, Casey and I just want to share with you the impact that it's going to have and the opportunities that are going to be provided."
The men's golf program has also been steadily on the rise under head coach Casey Lubahn, earning a berth to the NCAA Regionals this past season and winning the Big Ten Match Play Championship in February.
"Being a younger coach at your alma mater is very special," said Lubahn at Wednesday's ceremony. "It is something I have dreamed about since I was 22 and got into this business. You have visions of what you want to do. You want to win championships, you want to mold young people, you want to have life-long relationships with them. But I can tell you that I have visualized this day for a long time. Today is incredibly special. Thank you to Mark (Hollis) for entrusting me with this program and to Greg (Ianni) for all your support. I want to echo my thanks to Bob and Julie (Skandalaris) and Rick and Suzanne (Lasch). We are beyond blessed to have your friendship and support."
For more information on the MSU Athletics and the Empower Extraordinary campaign, go to http://msuspartans.com/SpartanFund.