AMHERST, Mass . – University of Massachusetts Amherst Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford announced the finalization of a $5.58 million gift commitment by Marty Jacobson ’68 to the University of Massachusetts Athletics Department on Wednesday, June 20.
In honor of the gift, UMass Amherst will name its football team facility the “Martin Jacobson Football Performance Center.”
Jacobson’s gift represents a continuation of his staunch support for the university. The 1968 graduate of the university, along with his brother Richard, previously provided $2.5 million for improvements to McGuirk Alumni Stadium, which funded the construction of the Martin and Richard Jacobson Press and Skybox Complex.
“I felt compelled to make this gift that allows Ryan Bamford and the athletics department to make several infrastructure improvements that will benefit our student-athletes and fans,” said Jacobson. “We are in the midst of a renaissance and I hope this is a catalyst which continues that momentum. I’m excited about moving McGuirk Stadium into a modern era with some of the planned amenities and believe that the seasonal bubble will allow our student-athletes to train at a higher level than ever before.”
“We are deeply appreciative of this extraordinary gift by Marty Jacobson, which will benefit both our student-athletes and greatly improve the fan experience at McGuirk Alumni Stadium,” said Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy. “His continued and deeply generous support is truly a game changer for UMass Amherst.”
The latest financial gift from Jacobson will fund experiential improvements to McGuirk Alumni Stadium for the university community, current and future student-athletes and fans alike. The $5.58 million pledge provides the support necessary to design and construct a seasonal air-supported indoor structure at the stadium, while his gift will also contribute to a high-definition scoreboard at the stadium, among other planned fan experience facility improvements.
“The support Marty has provided the University of Massachusetts is truly transformational,” said Bamford. “We are so thankful for his generosity and appreciative of his leadership in moving our athletics department forward through facility improvements that will benefit our sport programs and the university at large. We are extremely proud to name our outstanding football building the Martin Jacobson Football Performance Center.”
The seasonal air-supported structure will directly benefit all UMass Amherst student-athletes and will provide an indoor training space during the winter months when outdoor facilities are unavailable. The facility will also be available to the larger university community for selected special events.
“Marty Jacobson is a strong supporter of our athletics department and the football team in particular,” said football head coach Mark Whipple. “His contributions to UMass football, including the donations he and his brother Richard previously made for the press and skybox complex, are paramount to our continued growth as an FBS program."
Construction will begin at the conclusion of the 2018 football season, and a formal timeline for completion will be established as the final scope for all the improvements within the project are determined.