Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- August 6, 2004
Cal Poly Alumnus Pledges $4 Million to Help Renovate Mustang
Stadium - Gift from Alex and Faye Spanos Makes Stadium Project a Reality
Cal Poly alumnus, entrepreneur and San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos, and
his wife, Faye, have pledged $4 million to help fund the renovation of Phase I of
Mustang Stadium, the university's facility for football, men's and women's soccer
and university events such as commencement.
It is the largest single gift in the history of Cal Poly Athletics.
"It's the stadium where my brother, Danny, and I performed as drum majors for
Harold Davidson's marching band in 1941," Spanos said of his decision to underwrite
the improvements. The project will increase the permanent seating capacity to
10,000 and also will include a press box featuring special box seating, a press
area, television and radio booths, two coaching booths, new stadium lighting and
an upgrade of the playing surface.
"An important part of the renovation of our stadium is our goal to recognize and
honor all of the members of the 1960 football team who perished in a tragic plane
crash in Ohio," said Cal Poly President Warren Baker. "Cal Poly plans to create
a Memorial Plaza, thereby ensuring permanent remembrance of the 1960 team members
who lost their lives that evening. In the Memorial Plaza, each will be honored
with a biographical plaque on a copper pillar standing at the height of the
"This plaza will be a constant reminder to students, alumni, and visitors as it
will be the focal point of the stadium entrance. We feel that permanent
recognition on the Cal Poly campus of the young men who lost their lives and lost
their friends and teammates is long overdue."
The Spanos' gift brings the total raised for the Mustang Stadium project to $9.4
million. The entire project is estimated to cost $13 million and groundbreaking
is expected in late spring 2005.
"We greatly appreciate this further act of generosity to Cal Poly by Alex and Faye
Spanos, by their support for enhancement of this critical facility for Cal Poly
athletic and university events and by their commitment to establishing a permanent
memorial to the 1960 team members whose lives were so tragically cut short,"
"We are grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Spanos for their generosity and enthusiasm for
this project and we feel this major gift gives us tremendous momentum to complete
the fund-raising efforts for Phase I of the stadium," said Alison Cone, Cal Poly
interim athletics director.
"The stadium project marks the culmination of years of hard work on the part of
people at Cal Poly as well as in the community," said Chris Baker, Cal Poly interim
associate athletics director for advancement.
"There has been a lot of anticipation for many years and it's going to be great to
see this project in motion. It represents so much resolve over the years and
ratifies what we believe is the direction of athletics at Cal Poly and, in
particular, football," said Rich Ellerson, Cal Poly head football coach.
A year ago Alex and Faye Spanos donated $1.5 million to fund the renovation of
the university's H.P. Davidson Music Center and the Cal Poly Theatre. The gift
was the couple's second major gift to the Music Department last year. They also
gave $100,000 to establish the Harold P. and Rosalie Davidson scholarship endowment
in memory of the former music professor and his wife.
In May, the Cal Poly Theatre was dedicated and renamed the Alex and Faye Spanos
Theatre in honor of the couple.
While a student in aeronautical engineering in the early 1940s, Spanos was the
drum major for the marching band led by Davidson.
About Alex Spanos
Spanos has led a colorful and productive life. He is owner of A.G. Spanos
Companies, one of the nation's leading builders of apartment communities. His
dream to own a National Football League team was realized in 1984, when he assumed
ownership of the San Diego Chargers.
"From the time I was 8 years old, all through high school, we worked. We weren't
allowed to play sports. I always loved sports and wanted to play football. When I
had the opportunity to buy the Chargers, I didn't hesitate," Spanos said.
The Spanos' gifts to Cal Poly typify the couple's commitment to philanthropy. His
company provided a major gift in 1998 to support the Cal Poly Athletics Capital
Campaign. He received the Statue of Liberty Award in 1986, "for good things I had
done, gifts that I had made to deserving causes," Spanos said. "I've always helped
any way that I can. I feel fortunate I'm able to do the things I do."
Spanos and his wife live in Stockton.
Editors please note: New renderings of the stadium project and Memorial Plaza are
available by contacting Eric Burdick in the Athletics Media Relations Office at
(805) 756-6550 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Contact: Chris Baker, (805) 756-7188 office, (805)