$1 Million Gift to Boost UC Irvine Athletics

A generous gift from Kathleen and Mark Santora will improve the strength and conditioning center for UCI student-athletes.
A generous gift from Kathleen and Mark Santora will improve the strength and conditioning center for UCI student-athletes.

IRVINE, Calif. --- A $1 million gift from Kathleen and Mark Santora to UC Irvine’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will support efforts to renovate and expand the strength and conditioning center used by nearly 400 NCAA Division I Anteater student-athletes competing in 18 programs.  

“We are so thankful for the Santoras’ exemplary commitment to UC Irvine Athletics,” said Athletic Director Michael Izzi.  “Their leadership and dedication to the success of our student-athletes is paramount to our pursuit of excellence.  We hope that the generosity displayed by the Santoras will resonate with our donor base and that other members of ‘Eater Nation will answer the call as well.”

UCI recognizes that quality strength and conditioning programs are a vital component for consistent success in intercollegiate athletics. A revamped strength and conditioning center will be dedicated to having each student-athlete achieve maximum results in a safer, expanded and more effective training environment. The facility will be located immediately west of the proposed Al Irwin Student-Athlete Academic Center and existing Carlos A. Prietto, M.D. Sports Medicine Center within Crawford Hall, creating a synergy of physical conditioning and academic success mere steps from each other.

“We want to express our gratitude to all members of the UCI community for supporting UCI student-athletes both on and off the field,” noted Kathleen Santora.  “We hope that the new training facility will allow UCI athletes and teams reach their greatest potential,” added Mark Santora.

“These facilities will elevate Anteater athletics, already one of the top non-football programs in the country, to a new level in recruiting,” Izzi stated. “This historical gift will continue to support our vision of excellence in academics and athletics at UC Irvine while helping future generations of student-athletes fulfill their dreams.”

To learn more about this or other athletic facility improvement projects, please visit here.  For more information about ways to support UCI Athletics, please call (949) 824-0055.

About UC Irvine Intercollegiate Athletics:
  UCI has won 27 national championships in nine different sports and has captured 73 conference regular-season titles.  UCI has finished in the top five in the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association All-Sports rankings (of the 95 Division I schools that do not sponsor football) each of the last six years, including runner-up showings the past two years and three of the last four. UCI placed first in the Division I-AAA rankings in 2007.

Since 1980, 88 UCI student-athletes have been named Conference Athlete of the Year and the Anteaters have had 85 Conference Coaches of the Year.  Nearly 450 UCI student-athletes have earned All-America honors and the University has had 57 representatives participate in the Olympics and Paralympics.


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