A $3 million matching gift from Thorntons has provided the lift the University of Louisville needed to begin work on a new academic center on UofL's campus.
"Once this gift is matched, and it will be matched quickly, we will have the project fully funded," UofL Vice President and Athletics Director Tom Jurich said. "This takes us to $11 million and the match will fund the rest of the project."
The academic center, scheduled to break ground in January or February of 2015, will be a one-stop center for academic tutoring, studying and work-space for Louisville's student-athletes.
"Becoming the academic and athletic partner to the University of Louisville was an easy decision for us at Thorntons," said Matt Thornton, CEO of Thorntons, Inc. "With our long-standing relationship with the University and our commitment to the place we both call home, we take great pride in supporting our future leaders."
The planned $14 million facility, which will be named the Thorntons Academic Center of Excellence, will be located beneath the Norton Terrace at the South end of the Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The center will feature tutorial areas, laboratories, office areas and classroom space that will impact over 750 student-athletes across the Cardinals' 23 sports on a daily basis.
"Thorntons has long been a terrific corporate partner to our university and this community," said Jurich. "This tremendous support gives us an opportunity to help us reach the completion of a project that touches all of our student-athletes. We are incredibly appreciative of the generosity of Thorntons, and in particular James and Matt Thornton."
Thorntons also announced a co-branded Cardinal Athletic Fund membership card and Thorntons Refreshing Rewards Loyalty program card for Cardinal Athletic Fund (CAF members), with personalized benefits available at local Thorntons locations. There will special promotions to come which will benefit CAF members.
More on Thorntons: Founded by Kentucky native James H. Thornton in 1971, Thorntons Inc. is one of the leading independent gasoline and convenience chain retailers in the U.S., currently operating throughout the Midwest under the brand name Thorntons. Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Thorntons operates 177 gasoline and convenience stores, car washes and travel plazas in six states: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida. Thorntons distributes its petroleum products through its wholly owned Thornton Transportation Company and operates a river bulk storage terminal in Louisville.