Gift of $ 10 million to name the pavilion of Ole Miss
OXFORD, Miss. – The sparkling, state-of-the-art basketball and events arena at the University of Mississippi has been officially named the Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss in recognition of a $ 10 million donation from the couple in Madison, Mississippi .
The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Education (IHL) Board of Trustees approved the appointment today (June 17, 2021).
Longtime supporters, Blacks said they were lucky financially and wanted to give a gift they could enjoy with their families: three grown children, eight grandchildren and a great-granddaughter – most of whom attended. Ole Miss.
âWe’re fortunate to be able to do something like that and leave a legacy so to speak,â said John Black, a retired accountant and entrepreneur. “We have decided to respond with a gift we could be proud of and have our children and grandchildren take a look every now and then as they pass through this facility.”
Sandy Black agreed, âOur children and grandchildren will see our family name, and we hope that instills in them the importance of giving back to the community. We also want them to realize how the University of Mississippi is. is important to us.
âWe appreciate giving and we believe in the need to give back,â she continued. “We are really proud to be a family with so many members associated with Ole Miss.”
MU Chancellor Glenn Boyce said the Blacks’ loyalty to their alma mater is remarkable.
âJohn and Sandy are two of the nicest people I have had the honor to know,â he said. âTheir loyalty to the university is as broad as it is deep – it extends not only to athletics, but also to academics and to the many facets of our medical center.
âThis couple’s legacy will touch generations of students, alumni and friends as they keep abreast of our needs and are committed to meeting them with crucial support. We are extremely grateful to John and Sandy for their extraordinary generosity.
Blacks latest gift is their third contribution to the Vaught Society, the philanthropic leadership group of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation.
In 2015, Blacks donated $ 11 million to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the largest private donation ever received by UMMC in a single year. Since then, the Blacks have also made a large donation to renovate the Chancellor’s House guesthouse on the Oxford campus.
In 2019, Sandy Black donated $ 500,000, essentially purchasing all of William Faulkner’s furniture from the extended family of the Nobel Prize-winning author, with the understanding that the pieces would remain on permanent display at Rowan Oak – the home. History of Faulkner in Oxford, Mississippi. Black fell in love with Faulkner’s house in 1989, when she and a group of friends began attending the annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha conference.
John Black, a member of the board of trustees of the University of Mississippi Foundation, received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the university in 1961 and a master’s degree in accounting in 1962. At the university, he was the Taylor Medalist and Honorary member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Delta FraternitÃ© Theta. Sandy Black attended college and was a member of the Phi Mu sorority.
The couple, who met at a fraternity party, got married in 1963.
After college, John Black joined the accounting firm of Pete Marwick, now KPMG, as a CPA in Jackson. After several years, he founded HCM Inc., which operated 53 nursing home and assisted living facilities in seven southeastern states.
In 1981, he sold the business to Beverly Enterprises, the largest company in the business, and continued to experience success as an investor in both stocks and real estate. At one point, he owned all of the Courthouse Racquet & Fitness locations in the Jackson area, which he then donated to UMMC to promote wellness.
âSandy and John are leaders in the Ole Miss community, and we can’t begin to thank them enough for their commitment to our campus,â said Keith Carter, vice-chancellor for intercollegiate athletics. âWe are delighted to honor their great passion and commitment by placing their names on the pavilion.
“The impact of their generosity will be felt by all of our student-athletes and will help provide the necessary resources for our teams to compete and win championships.”
On July 31, 2014, the field was inaugurated on the 225,000 square foot arena which officially opened on January 7, 2016, with the victory of the Rebel men’s basketball team over Alabama.
Designed by AECOM and built by BL Harbert, the pavilion has a capacity of 9,500 fans and a number of first-class amenities including short side and base seating for students, three premium club areas for fans and over 1,700 premium seats.
The men’s and women’s locker rooms measure nearly 1,500 square feet, while the facility also houses two visiting team locker rooms, officials’ locker rooms, a volleyball locker room and a green area.
The pavilion, which includes a five-story parking garage with 800 spaces that serves the entire campus community, is also the site of many university events, such as conferences, receptions and the annual convocation of first-year students. year.
Denson hollis, deputy director of athletics development and director of development, said the pavilion placement allows Ole Miss athletics to further enhance its footprint on campus, better connecting athletics to the heart of the campus.
The central location of the Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss provides a premier gateway to Ole Miss athletics and a destination point for all students not only on game days but every day of the game. week, âhe said. “We are delighted and honored to forever attach the names of John and Sandy to the crown jewel of our sports facilities.”
By Bill Dabney and Kyle Campbell