Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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January 10, 2012

IU-Kokomo receives gift of $1.25M

Officials: It’s the school’s largest-ever cash donation

Indiana University Kokomo officials announced Monday they’ll use a $1.25 million cash gift from the Cole family of Logansport to build a new Wellness and Fitness Center.

The Cole family, including Milt and Jean Cole, Keith and Carmella Cole, and Randy and Candy Cole, are the owners of Cole Hardwood in Logansport.

“My family and I have dedicated the rest of our lives to helping elevate humanities as much as we can,” Milt Cole said in a press statement issued by the school Monday. “We think this is a great place to start.”

IUK officials said the Cole gift is the largest cash gift in the campus’ history.

School Chancellor Michael Harris made the announcement Monday afternoon to a convocation of students, faculty and staff gathered in Alumni Hall.

“Words cannot express how deeply grateful and appreciative we are as a campus for this incredibly generous donation,” Harris said. “The Cole family’s commitment to making the Wellness and Fitness Center a reality will benefit the students of north central Indiana for years to come.”

The gift is a reflection of Milt and Jean Cole’s true concern for the well-being of others, he added.

“Through my tenure at IU Kokomo, my wife, Tali, and I have developed a close relationship with Milt and Jean and the rest of the family. We have learned they are great business leaders who place immense value on helping others,” Harris said.

“We, as a campus, have been innovative and forward looking. This gift is a result of deep belief in what we do. The generosity of the Cole family is a testament to the work of each and every person on this campus,” Harris said.

IUK officials said the Wellness and Fitness Center will be a renovation of an unused space beneath the library in the Kelley Student Center.

The 20,500-square-foot facility will house a jogging/walking track, cardio and strength training area, two multi-purpose rooms, a health studies classroom, and locker rooms.

“The creation of the center will help students, faculty and staff maintain good physical and mental health, as well as provide opportunities to expand allied health programs such as sports medicine and athletic training,” officials said in the press statement.

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