Avid users of the Rec Center will soon see improvements. A Norfolk couple has donated $1 million to the College of William and Mary’s Department of Recreational Sports for the maintenance and replacement of old equipment. Bee McLeod ’83 MBA ’91 and Goody Tyler will use a $900,000 gift to create the J Goodenow Tyler, III Recreational Sports Endowment, while also offering $100,000 for general use funding over the next several years.
“We’re really fortunate that somebody believes in and supports the program with that type of gift,” Director of Recreational Sports Linda Knight said. “They really want to support the students.”
Knight said that the endowment would take several years to be up and running, but would eventually contribute an estimated $40,000 a year to the Rec Sports budget. The $100,000 gift will be used to bridge the gap until the endowment is active.
The funds will go towards exercise equipment for the Rec Center, as well as equipment for the College’s club sports teams and intramural sports programs. The school currently boasts 45 different club teams and 500 intramural teams, with an estimated 80-85 percent of students participating in the programs.
Knight said that, with the Rec Center entering its fifth year of operation this fall, old equipment purchased on the building’s opening in 2006 is beginning to wear out.
“While the equipment is in great shape, we’ve found that as much use as our equipment gets, a good piece is only going to last about four or five years,” she said. “We’re starting to see that equipment needs to be replaced. We haven’t really had to do that the last couple years, because it’s still fairly new, but as we go into next year, we’ll try to replace two or three pieces of equipment every year so we can keep it up and running.”
Among the first purchases are expected to be new, environmentally certified treadmills, in keeping with a building-wide emphasis on sustainability.
“We feel that that would be appropriate for our first piece to buy, for a building that’s LEED-certified,” Knight said.
McLeod and Tyler also gave a substantial donation to the College in 2008, committing $2.5 million to Swem Library and the Mason School of Business. The gift established the position of Marian and Alan McLeod Director of the Special Collections Research Center, as well as the Elizabeth “Bee” McLeod Business Library.