KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo is recognized for making significant contributions to the well-being and prosperity of north central Indiana. Continuing this movement, the campus now is focused on enhancing student success by adding a much needed wellness and fitness center. Officials are asking the community to support the Inspire Power drive.
The campus is launching its public phase of the "Inspire Power" campaign to raise $2.5 million for the Milt and Jean Cole Family Wellness and Fitness Center, slated to open in August 2013.
Chancellor Michael Harris said giving to the wellness and fitness center is an investment in the community, because it helps attract and retain the highest-caliber students possible.
"We believe the future of north central Indiana depends on the quality of education we provide to our students, since 80 percent of our graduates remain in the region," Harris said. "Together, we have achieved great success. In order to continue our journey to become the best regional campus in the world, we must assure our students have all that is necessary for their success. A wellness and fitness center will significantly enhance the IU Kokomo experience and student life."
Diana Tenbrook, vice president of marketing at Solidarity Community Federal Credit Union, is honored to serve as campaign chairperson. She has served as a student mentor and is also a dedicated Cougar fan.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to be part of what IU Kokomo is doing, and I am proud to be involved," she said. "I want to help make a difference in the lives of the students and hope the community will join me in doing so by contributing to the Inspire Power campaign."
The Milt and Jean Cole Family Wellness and Fitness Center will be a 20,500 square-foot facility, in the ground floor of the library. Amenities include a jogging and walking track, cardio and strength training area, two multipurpose rooms, a health studies classroom, locker rooms, and a reception area.
The name honors the $1.25 million donation from the Cole family, the largest cash gift in campus history. Tenbrook said there are other naming opportunities available for donors, who can pledge a gift over a five-year period.
"I can't imagine a greater impact, than knowing you have made a difference not only for the students today, but those for generations to come," Tenbrook said. "Your gift inspires our future leaders."
Penny Lee, vice chancellor for public affairs and advancement, further asserts that the "Inspire Power" campaign "is about inspiring our students, faculty, and staff to find the power within themselves to maintain a healthy lifestyle, not only while they are on campus, but throughout their lives. This can only bring positive and healthy results to the people we serve in our region for generations to come."
Lee said the campus is grateful and proud that Bill Hunt, chairman of IU Health and son of IU Kokomo's founding director Virgil Hunt, and Kathleen Ligocki, one of the campus' most successful alumni, have agreed to serve as honorary campaign co-chairpersons.
She said the wellness and fitness center is a key part of an overall wellness initiative in the Kokomo area.
"Our campus leadership is committed to life-long healthy habits," she said. "We enthusiastically support the growth and strength of all YMCAs in our region, as the majority of our graduates will continue to live here. After graduation, they will seek these quality, up-to-date facilities to continue the healthy habits started on campus."
Harris said community support will contribute to more than just the wellness and fitness center.
"It is a direct contribution to the lives of many who in turn will inspire the economic well-being and prosperity of Kokomo and north central Indiana," he said.
"In order to successfully build a wellness and fitness center, we ask for the help and support of our community and region."
For more information about the Milt and Jean Cole Family Wellness and Fitness Center, the fundraising campaign and tax benefits of giving, go to http://www.iuk.edu/wellnessfitnesscenter, or contact Lee at 765-455-9485 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.