VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, has announced a $1 million gift from Sheila Labrecque, wife of the late Thomas Labrecque ’60, former chairman and chief executive of the Chase Manhattan Corporation and former Villanova University Trustee, to support the Villanova Football program. Inspired by a longstanding friendship with Villanova Football Head Coach Andy Talley, Labrecque has designated the gift to support the construction of the West End Zone Complex—an $18 million project that is being funded entirely through donor support.
“The sense of community tied to football games was always important to Tom,” said Sheila Labrecque. “He believed sports helped provide students, faculty and alumni with a connection to the Villanova experience, which is why he fought so hard to help bring football back.”
In recognition of this commitment, the Villanova Football locker room will be named in honor of Thomas Labrecque.
“The West End Zone Project will not only be a game-changer for the entire Athletic Department, it will also elevate Villanova Football on many levels,” said Coach Talley. “Tom Labrecque loved football and was a great supporter of the program. Academics was always very important to Tom, and he was a big proponent of the student-athlete experience with the emphasis on student. The locker room, offices, meeting space and academic center will provide us with one of the top facilities in all of FCS Football. We are truly appreciative of the Labrecque family’s commitment to Villanova Athletics.”
The new West End Zone Complex is a world-class athletic training facility and has been supported by multiple major gifts, including $1 million from Diane and Howie Long, NFL Hall-of-Famer and Fox Sports analyst, and a $10 million anonymous anchor gift. Upon completion, this signature building will benefit all of Villanova’s 24 varsity sports, with services that meet the growing athletic and academic demands of today’s student-athletes. The West End Zone Complex will be dedicated on October 21, 2016.
“This generous gift symbolizes Sheila and her family's desire to honor a great Villanovan, Tom Labrecque, and recognize his love for Villanova and commitment to ensuring the Football Program is always a part of our campus community,” said Director of Athletics Mark Jackson. “I am extremely appreciative to the entire Labrecque family for their support of this exciting project."
The leadership gift is part of Villanova University’s comprehensive capital campaign, For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change, which was launched in October 2013, and is the most ambitious in the University’s nearly 175-year history. To date, more than $570 million has been raised toward the Campaign’s $600 million goal, including more than $98 million for Villanova Athletics priorities. Of that total, nearly $47 million in gifts and pledges have been directed in support of athletic facilities, including the construction of the West End Zone Complex, the development of the Higgins Soccer Complex, a new Field Hockey training facility, enhancements to the Davis Center and an upcoming renovation of the Pavilion, among others.
Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more information, visit www.villanova.edu.