KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo dedicates the new Milt and Jean Cole Family Wellness and Fitness Center in a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 18, in Kresge Auditorium.
IU President Michael A. McRobbie will preside over the ceremony, honoring Milt and Jean Cole and their family, for their $1.25 million gift to the campus. There will be a reception and tours of the facility immediately following the ceremony.
Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke said the Cole Fitness Center has transformed the campus, providing a place to build a community and to enhance the health of students, faculty, and staff.
"We are so appreciative of the Cole family, whose generosity allowed this center to be built," she said. "The Coles have dedicated their lives to enhancing the quality of life in north central Indiana. They embody the true essence of philanthropy, which is supporting projects that will have a long-term impact on people's lives.
"This center allows us to provide a complete educational experience that is focused on the whole student, both mind and body. The impact of this facility will be felt for many years to come."
The 21,000 square-foot facility opened in August, and has been a popular addition to the campus. Fitness Center Director Brandon Podgorski said people are coming in regularly to use the jogging and walking track, weights, and cardio equipment, while the student athletes are glad to be able to train on campus.
"I hope the center is a catalyst in making the IU Kokomo community, as a whole, more fit," he said. "In my mind, that's the most important reason why it is here. I've been pleased with the participation so far, and it will only continue to grow. "
The gift from the Cole family, which also includes Keith and Carmella Cole, and Randy and Candy Cole, is the largest cash gift in IU Kokomo history. The family owns Cole Hardwood, Inc., in Logansport.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.