FAIRFIELD – A Fairfield University alumnus and trustee, John C. Meditz, ’70, of Weehawken, N.J., has given $10 million to the university for one of its current strategic priorities, the transformative expansion and modernization of the Leslie C. Quick Jr. Recreation Complex.
The gift adds to other major contributions that Mr. Meditz has made in recent years, including gifts that enabled the university to construct and establish the Bellarmine Museum of Art, to endow the directorship of the museum, and to create additional endowed student scholarships.
Jesuit Father Jeffrey P. von Arx, university president, called the gift “historic and transformative.” He continued, saying, “John has been a longtime, steadfast supporter of the University and his generosity has already had a profound impact on the University community and the learning environment that we have become. At this moment in our history, we are committed to a number of facility enhancements that will help us to become an even more dynamic and state-of-the-art institution. John has a deep understanding of our mission as a Jesuit university and he has served that mission well. He has been a university trustee during all of my term as president, and I’m grateful for his leadership at this moment in our development.”
Mr. Meditz made known his gift intention in late March through a letter to fellow trustees presented during a recent board meeting.
Noting that enhancements to the university’s facilities – along with endowment growth – were among the critical priorities that the board had identified as essential to the long-term success of the institution, Mr. Meditz wrote, “Investing in strategically important facilities that either we lack or are in need of modernization is vital to Fairfield’s overall reputation for excellence and to how it is perceived among its various audiences, particularly prospective students.
“With the new Rafferty Stadium construction for Fairfield’s lacrosse programs underway, we need to accelerate the expansion and modernization of the Leslie C. Quick Jr. Recreation Complex. In making my commitment, it is my sincere hope that it will encourage and inspire others to make exemplary donations by increasing current gifts or making new ones,” Mr. Meditz wrote.
The Leslie C. Quick Jr. Recreation Complex, located in the center of campus serves more than 95 percent of the student body, as well as many faculty and staff. It was built in 1979 and houses the swimming pool, Birkenstock field house, racquetball courts, and fitness and weight area that support general recreation, intramural and club sports, and the varsity swimming and diving teams.
The university has retained Cannon Design as architects and Shawmut Design and Construction as construction managers for the project and all approvals necessary from the Town of Fairfield have been received.
The project would unite all of the recreational services. An 11,000 square foot two-story expansion, combined with significant renovation of the existing facility, will greatly expand fitness and weight-training space; provide additional multipurpose rooms and spaces; include an indoor running/walking track; modernize floor surfaces for increased usage by intramural, club and varsity sports programs; air-condition the field house; and provide new, dedicated locker rooms for the varsity swimming and diving teams.
Dr. Mark C. Reed, senior vice president for administration and chief of staff and interim vice president for university advancement, said, “With over 400 varsity student-athletes, more than 600 club sports athletes and in excess of 1,500 intramural sports participants each year – on top of the overwhelming general recreation use by students and additional use by the scholastic teams of Fairfield Prep – demand for and use of athletic and recreational facilities are at all-time highs. We are incredibly grateful to alumni and friends such as John Meditz who care so deeply about Fairfield and so generously support the university. With John’s lead and example, our fundraising efforts for this project and other University priorities will continue in earnest so that we can make this project a reality on campus in the near future.”