Kansas University received a significant boost toward the construction of a state-of-the-art football facility today when former Jayhawks basketball player Tom Kivisto pledged $10 million toward the project, $2 million of which KU already has received.
"My wife Julie and I love the University of Kansas, and as such, we consider this a gift to the entire university," Kivisto said in a statement. "I believe a successful football program helps a university at every level. By making the football program stronger, the entire university and all of its sports programs are the beneficiaries."
Kivisto played at KU from 1971-74, and currently has served as president and CEO of SemGroup, L.P., an energy service company out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Total assets for the company have grown more than $1 billion on the past five years.
KU previously reported it has raised between $10 and $15 million toward the facility before Kivisto's contribution. The facility has an estimated price tag of $25 to $30 million. If constructed as originally envisioned, the building will be located adjacent to Memorial Stadium and include a weight room, film and meeting rooms, a locker room and a training room for the football team, as well as a practice field nearby.
"What Tom Kivisto has done stands as a shining example for others," KU coach Mark Mangino said in a statement. "Our coaching staff and players are all committed to making the KU football program a perennial power in the Big 12, and Tom's generosity will help us achieve that goal."