Dennis Brown | September 2, 2017
University of Notre Dame alumnus Tripp Smith and his wife, Sheila, of Summit, New Jersey, have made a $15 million gift to his alma mater for a recreation center in the new Duncan Student Center.
“At Notre Dame we have always – as an integral part of our holistic approach to education – encouraged the cultivation of habits aimed at fostering good health and wellness,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president. “This wonderful gift from Tripp and Sheila will provide our students, as well as faculty and staff, with a magnificent new facility where they can engage in many different forms of exercise and recreation. We are deeply grateful not only for this generous gift, which will make such a positive difference for our campus community, but also for the Smith family’s friendship and wise counsel over many years.”
The 80,000-square-foot Smith Center for Recreational Sports is a central component of the Duncan Student Center, located on the west side of Notre Dame Stadium.
“One of the most distinctive aspects of Notre Dame is our sense of community,” said Erin Hoffmann Harding, vice president for student affairs. “The Smith Center for Recreational Sports will build upon this foundation by providing students with space to connect, relax, exercise and grow. We are most appreciative of the Smiths’ generosity.”
Located on the third and fourth levels of the Duncan Student Center, the Smith Center for Recreational Sports features 53,000 square feet of space on level three and 27,000 on level four, adding 20,000 more square feet of recreation space on campus. The third level will include:
- A full-size basketball court with bleachers.
- A cardio and free-weight area totaling 13,084 square feet, with space for elliptical machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, weight machines, free-weight benches and weight racks.
- An open area with modular exercise space.
- Three studios totaling 5,420 square feet for yoga, dance, martial arts and group fitness instruction.
- Office space for RecSports staff and personal trainers.
- A student lounge.
- A spin studio.
- Men’s and women’s locker rooms.