KOKOMO, Ind. – Indiana University Kokomo officials announced today (January 9) it has received its largest cash gift in the campus’ history. The Milt and Jean Cole family of Logansport has donated $1.25 million to support the construction of a new Wellness and Fitness Center.
“My family and I have dedicated the rest of our lives to helping elevate humanities as much as we can,” Milt Cole said of the donation. “We think this is a great place to start.”
The Cole family members are Milt and Jean Cole, Keith and Carmella Cole, and Randy and Candy Cole. They are owners of Cole Hardwood in Logansport.
Chancellor Michael Harris made the announcement Monday afternoon to a full house of students, faculty, and staff gathered in Alumni Hall.
“Words cannot express how deeply grateful and appreciative we are as a campus for this incredibly generous donation,” Harris said. “The Cole family’s commitment to making the Wellness and Fitness Center a reality will benefit the students of north central Indiana for years to come.”
This gift is a reflection of Milt and Jean Cole’s true concern for the well being of others, he added.
“Through my tenure at IU Kokomo, my wife, Tali, and I have developed a close relationship with Milt and Jean and the rest of the family. We have learned they are great business leaders who place immense value on helping others,” Harris said.
“We, as a campus, have been innovative and forward looking. This gift is a result of deep belief in what we do. The generosity of the Cole family is a testament to the work of each and every person on this campus,” Harris said.
Milt Cole said he was impressed with Chancellor Harris’ accomplishments.
“He knows how to get things done,” Milt Cole said. “I think Kokomo, Indiana, is fortunate to have him.”
The Wellness and Fitness Center will be a renovation of an unused space beneath the Library in the Kelley Student Center. The 20,500-square-foot facility will house a jogging/walking track, cardio and strength training area, two multi-purpose rooms, a health studies classroom, and locker rooms.
The creation of the Center will help students, faculty, and staff maintain good physical and mental health, as well as provide opportunities to expand allied health programs such as sports medicine and athletic training.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.