Michigan State receives $10 million gift for new football building expansion project

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EAST LANSING — Shortly before hosting Maryland and with rumors swirling of Mel Tucker, Michigan State football received a significant donation for its improved football facilities.

The school announced a $10 million pledge from Greg and Dawn Williams to support the Tom Izzo Football Building, an expansion and renovation to current Spartan Football facilities.

"Michigan State Athletics is grateful for Greg and Dawn, their friendship and philanthropic leadership," new athletic director Alan Haller said in a release. "Their gift moves us forward in a lot of ways and furthers our mission to provide a transformative experience for all Spartan student-athletes. What I appreciate the most is the Williams’ pride in and commitment to our local community and recognizing how partnering with Michigan State can have a broad, positive impact.”

It is the second major gift for the project. Former MSU basketball player Mat Ishbia donated $32 million in February to kickstart the renovation project.

The expansion and renovation will include a grand entrance, improvements to the football auditorium, and the creation of new player lockers, informal meeting spaces, and recovery modalities, as well as a dining and nutrition area. In addition, the project will feature areas which will benefit student-athletes from across multiple sports, including an expanded weight room with state-of-the-art strength and conditioning technology and mental health and wellness spaces.

The Williams family will be honored during the Spartans' game with the Terrapins, which kicks off at 4 p.m.

“Thank you Greg and Dawn for your leadership and commitment to excellence," Tucker said in a statement. "This facility is about competing for championships. If we can recruit high-level talent, and provide our student-athletes the ability to prepare, rest and recover, and have an enhanced social experience, we will be positioned for success here at Michigan State.”

Greg Williams, who co-founded Grand Rapids-based insurance broker Acruisure, said the leadership of Tucker and Izzo is a big reason for the donation. Williams and his wife did not graduate from MSU but "care deeply about the East Lansing community."

“Supporting the football program, and particularly a facility that honors Tom, was important to us," Williams said in a statement. "In addition, we love Mel’s passion and relentless mentality. ... Mel’s commitment to success and his sense of urgency is inspiring and that’s part of this gift as well."

Contact Chris Solari: csolari@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Read more on the Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Spartans newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: MSU receives $10 million gift for football building project