Friday, Jun 11, 2021
Rider receives more than $100K from donors to advance Arena Project
by Diane Cornell
Rider is pleased to report several recent gifts benefitting its plan to transform Alumni Gym into a modern NCAA Division I arena. The project, which promises to enhance the game-day experience for fans and students, has steadily advanced since it was first announced in 2019.
The latest gifts are the result of expanded naming opportunities that the University announced in April for the facility. Supporters can name an arena seat for $500, a locker for $1,000 or an arena courtside padded seat for $2,500, or join other prominent donors on a planned Donor Wall for gifts of $5,000 or more. These and other naming opportunities may be found at rider.edu/bringing-it-home
The initiative has already led to several gifts. Among them:
- Chris Fazzini, president and chief executive officer of group benefits for Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, made a $50,000 pledge in honor of his daughter, former women’s basketball player Emily Fazzini ’15. In recognition, the Women’s Basketball Lounge will be called the Fazzini Family Players' Lounge;
- C&W Services in Bloomfield, N.J., a facility management company, contributed $30,000 toward the Alumni Gym renovations;
- Rider Trustee F. Christopher Carothers '91, '94 has made a gift of $21,000 to the project. Carothers, vice chairperson of the Board of Trustees, is president and chief executive officer of FCC Consulting Services, a technology solutions company based in Columbus, N.J.; and
- Joseph Sensi Jr. ’84, a men’s basketball season ticket holder, contributed $12,500. Sensi is vice president of employee benefits for Nottingham Insurance, and is the father of Kara Sensi Kline '14, '18 and former softball player Dana Sensi '16, '20.
Overall, the University is currently more than 60% toward its goal, having raised over $11 million of the $18.2 million needed to fully realize its vision for the facility.
“The generosity of our donors is what propels our plans to enhance this facility,” says Athletic Director Don Harnum. “We appreciate their enthusiastic support of our student-athletes and the University, and their demonstrated commitment to this exciting project.”
Alumni Gym is the first building on Rider’s Lawrenceville campus. With the Rider Arena Project, the University seeks to provide luxury box seating with an entertainment suite, add a center-hung scoreboard with digital display, create a new and more spacious lobby with distinct ticketing and concession areas, install more restrooms, and expand seating along the baseline and in corners.
The upgrades will also include a significant expansion of the existing Sports Medicine Center, a dedicated locker room for volleyball players and a new $1.7 million strength and conditioning center for student-athletes.
Over the years, the complex has also added a practice facility and renovated men’s and women’s basketball locker rooms and coaches’ offices. The main court’s transformation has brought the installation of new flooring, lighting, sound and video systems. In addition to new courtside and other seating, better sightlines have been created and walkway tunnels were established for better crowd flow.
Supporters wishing to make a gift to this exciting campus project or who want to purchase a nameplate for a locker or seat, can visit rider.edu/supportarenaproject or contact Associate Director of Major Gifts for Athletics Matt Mastrianni at 609-896-5291 or [email protected]