EKU President Michael Benson has announced that Donald R. and Irene Dizney, of Ocala, Fla., have committed a lead cash gift toward a $15 million multi-purpose facility to replace the current grandstands on the east side of Roy Kidd Stadium.
Benson said the facility will feature:
· classrooms and small conference rooms
· a nutrition and dietetics center
· training facilities
· a new football locker room
· offices for football coaches
· a Champions Café, open each day for lunch
“We are very grateful to Don and Irene Dizney for their tremendous generosity and support of EKU and our athletics program as they provide the lead gift for this very important project,” Benson said. “Once again, the Dizneys’ love of Eastern will benefit countless students, faculty and staff, and alumni and friends as this multi-purpose facility serves the entire EKU community.”
Head Football Coach Dean Hood concurred: “Don and Irene feel as though they have been blessed and have given to countless many around the world out of an overflow of those blessings. I know Don holds a special place in his heart for EKU, EKU Football and all those associated who were instrumental in bringing him from Lynch to Richmond.”
The Dizneys are well known on the Richmond campus. A facility bearing Mr. Dizney’s name houses several programs in the University’s College of Health Sciences. In 1995, he sponsored the Glenna Sprinkle Dean Learning Resources Center in EKU’s John Grant Crabbe Main Library, the principal library for education majors and an important resource for public school teachers.
A Lynch, Ky., native who attended Eastern, Mr. Dizney went on to a long and distinguished career in the health care field, serving many years as chairman of the board of United Medical Corporation, which owns and operates a chain of acute care and psychiatric hospitals in the southeastern U.S. and Caribbean. In addition, he served as chair for Lifetron Inc., a rehabilitation and respiratory therapy company, among other ventures.
He also served the University as a director of the EKU Foundation and in 1986 established an endowed scholarship fund to assist students from eastern Kentucky pursuing degrees in allied health and nursing. The scholarship fund honors the memory of his grandparents, Tinsley and Mamie Dizney of Loyall, Ky.
In 1987, EKU presented Mr. Dizney with an honorary doctoral degree.
The University anticipates selecting the architects for the project by early September, with construction to be completed in time for the 2016 football season. A date for groundbreaking has not yet been set. This project will be funded in part by a $15 million agency bond approved by the state that allows EKU to improve several of its athletic facilities.