Photo of the interior of the Daskalakis Athletic Center
Drexel University alumnus and benefactor John A. Daskalakis,‘63, has committed a $3 million gift in support of Drexel Athletics. The gift from the Drexel Hall of Famer and former standout on the lacrosse field will make it possible for Drexel to enhance its athletics program and upgrade the athletic center that already bears Daskalakis’ name.
“I am pleased and proud that John Daskalakis has chosen to expand his longtime support of Drexel Athletics,” said Drexel President John A. Fry. “Intercollegiate and recreational athletics are critical components of the University’s comprehensive educational offerings, and John’s gift will allow us to continue to improve the experience of our student-athletes.”
The first phase of renovations at the John A. Daskalakis Center (DAC) will begin this summer. The DAC is a 300,000 square-foot athletic and recreational facility that is best known for being the home to Drexel’s men’s and women’s NCAA Division I basketball teams. The facility also hosts a list of other events, including Drexel wrestling, swimming and diving and the 2012 Men’s and Women’s U.S. Squash Open. As part of the renovations to the DAC, new locker-rooms for the basketball teams are planned, as well as improved arena seating and the completion of an athletics hall of fame. Future plans include upgrades to the lobby, media room, sports lighting, HVAC for the arena area and a mezzanine expansion.
“The education and athletic experience John received while a student at Drexel University had an important impact on his life,” Director of Athletics Dr. Eric Zillmer said. “His past and current commitment to Drexel athletics is inspiring. John is a very special alumnus, who embodies the spirit of loyalty and friendship. We are lucky to call him a Drexel Dragon.”
In 2000, Daskalakis made a $1.5 million gift to the University to name the athletics center. “I am very grateful about the opportunity I had on the field and in the classroom during my days at Drexel,” said Daskalakis. “I'm happy to be able to support Drexel in any way that I can.”
The new commitment from Daskalakis is the start of Drexel's “I AM a Dragon” campaign. This campaign will help Drexel Athletics renovate, improve and build facilities that will help raise the prominence of its teams.
The department of Athletics has a goal of generating $15 million in donations. The “I AM a Dragon” campaign will create an even bigger and brighter window through which all can see Drexel University and its consistent commitment to excellence.
Drexel’s successful Division I athletics program brings together alumni, the academic community and the entire Philadelphia region. Drexel Athletics provide spirit, character and an identity to the University that would be difficult to match otherwise. By offering athletic and recreational opportunities for varsity athletes, students, faculty and staff, Drexel Athletics embraces and openly celebrates a performance culture of doing. More than 450 Drexel student-athletes compete in 18 Division I NCAA sports in the Colonial Athletic Association.