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The State Journal- Register (Springfield, IL)
The H.D. Smith Foundation announced Wednesday a $20 million donation to the University of Illinois.
The foundation, led by Dale and Chris Smith, will give $15 million to the new Football Performance Center. The center will be a 107,650-square foot facility adjoining the south end of the Irwin Indoor Practice Facility. The center will be named the Henry Dale and Betty Smith Football Center.
"To say a simple thank you for such an extraordinary gift fails to do justice to the generous investment the Smiths have chosen to make in Illinois Athletics and, specifically, our football program," Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman said in a press release. "It has been my privilege getting to know Dale and Chris since my arrival on campus. For years they have been loyal to the University and supportive of our bold vision for this department. Their investment today will dramatically change our program, and the coming success of the Fighting Illini will be forever tied to them."
The center will feature new locker rooms, sports medicine space, coaches' offices and more.
The $2 million also will go toward the Illinois Carle College of Medicine, while the final $3 million will go toward scholarship opportunities for former student-athletes to return to campus for degree completion.
Chris and Dale Smith said their donation honored their late father, Henry Dale, and mother, Betty, for their passion for Illinois football.
The Smith family founded H.D. Smith in 1954, which has since become a national medical wholesaler, providing services and solutions for health-care providers.
AmerisourceBergen, based in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, acquired Springfield-based H.D. Smith earlier this year. AmerisourceBergen's $815 million deal to take over the Springfield company closed in early January.
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