PHILADELPHIA - The Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Pennsylvania, dedicated to providing a wide array of athletic opportunities enhancing the educational experiences of its student-athletes, has received a $1 million challenge from Elliott (C’72 and WG’75) and Gail (CW’73 and WG’75) Rogers. The substantial commitment will serve as the basis for the effort to replace the outdoor track at Franklin Field, which has hosted the best in collegiate and professional competition for the last 120 years including the historic Penn Relays, Penn football, the Philadelphia Eagles, and multiple varsity and intramural sports teams at the University.
The Rogers will contribute up to $1 million toward this project for every dollar that Penn Athletics can raise toward this endeavor. Any of the funds not used for the resurfacing of the track will be designated directly to the Penn Cross Country and Track & Field programs, with these teams benefiting from any surplus in funding.
Elliott and Gail recognize that a full replacement of the existing outdoor track would possess tremendous value, provide momentum to Penn Athletics’ mission to provide championship-level experiences, and help ensure the Penn Track & Field program has access to a more modern-day training, practice and competition track.
“Penn has been an important part of our lives for many decades,” noted Elliott. “When we considered our cherished time as students and now active alumni, it became an easy decision for us to help provide more opportunities for the student-athlete community. Gail and I wanted to make an enduring impact, and this initiative is how we are able to passionately accomplish some of our philanthropic goals while enabling others to achieve success at the highest level of competition.”
No stranger to support of his alma mater, Elliott has deep ties to Penn. In 2001, Mr. Rogers generously endowed the James P. Tuppeny Head Men’s Coach position in honor of his legendary coach. Elliott is currently a member of the Athletic Board of Overseers, and is proud to have been a member of many championship teams while at Penn. He is a school record holder; a member of teams that won seven Ivy League, Heptagonal and IC4A team championships; and participated on the 1971 cross country team which had a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships.
“Donor support of Penn Athletics will not only position Quaker teams to compete for championships, but it is also critical to ensuring that our varsity student-athletes and campus community have the first-class facilities to complement their world-class educations and co-curricular experiences,” said Director of Athletics and Recreation, Dr. M. Grace Calhoun. “Thankfully, Penn and its intercollegiate athletics program have remained important to Elliott and Gail’s family, and their impactful challenge demonstrates their faith in the value of the student-athlete experience.”
“We are extremely grateful for Elliott and Gail’s exceptional generosity, as well as their support and vision to advance our facility areas at Franklin Field,” said Penn’s Director of Track & Field/Cross Country, Steve Dolan. “Their notable investment in the future of Penn Athletics will have a direct and immediate impact on our programs and the University at large.”
Elliott and Gail have challenged the Friends of the Penn Relays, the Cross Country and Track & Field Program, as well as all alumni who venerate this historic oval, to support the Outdoor Track Resurfacing Project, hopeful that their challenge will inspire other donors to play a role in the project.
Alumni, fans and supporters who would like to make a gift in support of this challenge may click here or contact Mike Bamonti from Penn Athletics Development at (215) 898-8899 or firstname.lastname@example.org.