Walt, Ginger Woltosz Give $10 Million for Football Performance Center
SOURCE: AUBURN ATHLETICS
Walt and Ginger Woltosz have committed$10 million, the largest gift in Auburn Athletics history, for the new football performance center.
“We wanted to help Auburn be in a more competitive position for recruiting,” said Walt Woltosz, who earned bachelor’s (1969) and master’s (1977) degrees in aerospace engineering from Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. “We felt like this was something we could help with. We love Auburnand appreciate what it means to be a member of the Auburn family.”
“We are profoundly grateful to Walt and Ginger for their extraordinary generosity,” Director of Athletics Allen Greene said. “Through their university-wide giving, the Woltoszes have consistently demonstrated that they believe in Auburn and love it. Our hope is that their loyalty and generous support will inspire the Auburn family to join them in providing world-class facilities for our student-athletes.”
Comparing Auburn’s 30-year-old football facility to newer facilities of SEC peers motivated the Woltoszes.
“We were really behind the eight ball,” Walt Woltosz said. “We want to attract the finest student-athletes we can get and give them the wonderful experience of being part of the Auburn family and the Auburn team.”
“We always tell our players to use their influence in a positive way,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said. “Walt and Ginger are a great example of that. Their gift will help us compete for championships and serve our student-athletes for generations. They represent everything that Auburn stands for. Hard work, concern for others and generosity.”
Including the Woltoszes’ gift, Tigers Unlimited has now received $31.5 million in gifts and commitments for the football performance center.
Married 38 years, Walt and Ginger founded Words+ Inc. in 1981, creating personal computer based communication tools for persons with severe disabilities, products that have been recognized by the Smithsonian Institute.
Early in his aerospace career, Walt Woltosz pioneered the development of innovative simulation and modeling software for key space and military systems. In 1996, the Air Force veteran and his wife founded Simulations Plus Inc. (Nasdaq: SLP), applying similar technologies in healthcare to create software used by more than 200 pharmaceutical firms, including the world’s top 25, helping to analyze new products and saving millions of dollars in research and development costs.
Members of Auburn’s 1856 Society, Petrie Society and Athletics’ Oaks Society, as well as the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering’s Keystone Donors, Walt and Ginger recently collaborated on the soon–to–be released movie “Do Not Reply,” which they executive produced and he co-wrote, co-directed and produced with Daniel Woltosz, one of their five children.
“Athletics are, in a way, the front door to the University to a lot of people who don’t live in the state and don’t really know much about Auburn,” Walt Woltosz said. “Academically, we’re at a very high level, but a lot of people only come to know that first through the athletic programs.
“We would just encourage others to dig down. You look for things you can do to make the world a better place and certainly, to help make Auburn a better place.”
On Oct. 28, the Auburn University Board of Trustees approved phase two of the project, the selection of the architectural team Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood of Montgomery, with consultation from HOK Architects of Kansas City, Missouri.
On Sept. 13, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to approve phase one, the project’s initiation.
The third and final approval phase would include reviewing and approving the size, scope and location of the project, as well as its budget, funding plan and design.