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Dean Janssen and Kathleen Lagorio Janssen

Dean Janssen and Kathleen Lagorio Janssen receive a standing ovation at the Black and Orange Ball, Aug. 27, 2016.

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$1 million gift will build state-of-the-art weight-training facility

Aug 29, 2016

Kathleen Lagorio Janssen and Dean Janssen, prominent Central Valley philanthropists and business leaders, have donated $1 million to University of the Pacific to expand the popular Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium on the Stockton Campus, representing one of the most significant gifts to Athletics in the university’s history. 

The gift was announced Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Pacific Athletic Foundation’s annual Orange & Black Ball, which raises money for scholarships for Pacific student-athletes.

The new Janssen-Lagorio Performance Center, slated to open in spring 2017, will provide state-of-the-art conditioning facilities and a “fuel station” offering quick and nutritious snacks for student-athletes.

A “crowdfunding” campaign is underway to raise an additional $50,000 toward the $450,000 needed to complete, equip and maintain the planned $1.45 million project, of which $300,000 has already been raised.

The addition will expand the Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium, widely recognized as one of the finest training gymnasiums in the West Coast Conference. Built in 2009 with a leadership gift from the Janssens, the gymnasium serves as the practice facility for Pacific’s basketball and volleyball teams, as well as for campus recreational sports. It is also a popular venue for community and special events.

“We are deeply grateful to Dean and Kathy for their great generosity in helping our students achieve their dreams,” said Pamela A. Eibeck, president of University of the Pacific. “Their support, and that of our other Board members, faculty, staff, coaches, donors and alumni, is vital to ensuring that Pacific students receive a superior education that prepares them for success in their careers and lives.”

Artist rendering of training facility

Lagorio Janssen, who chairs the university's Board of Regents, is an alumna of University of the Pacific’s Gladys L. Benerd School of Education. She and her husband both began their careers as teachers in the Stockton Unified School District. Today they own and operate the Stockton-based Lagorio Family of Companies, which grows, packs and ships high-quality fruits and vegetables worldwide.

“Dean and I couldn’t be happier to make this gift,” said Lagorio Janssen. “Our Tigers deserve the highest quality facilities, and we are proud to be able to support them.”

The Janssen-Lagorio Performance Center will offer student-athletes more access to strength-and-conditioning training, which is known to reduce injuries and improve performance.

Artist rendering of training facility

“The Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium has had a tremendous impact at Pacific and in the greater Central Valley region,” said Ted Leland, Athletics Director at University of the Pacific. “Dean and Kathy’s latest gift ensures that Pacific Athletics will continue to offer the world-class facilities that empower us to recruit and train the best and brightest student-athletes.”

The existing weight room has become too small to accommodate the growing number of student-athletes at Pacific. Some 350 student-athletes now share the small room.

The expansion will include installation of dynamic flooring and space-efficient power racks. A state-of-the-art video analysis system is planned, as well, as a way for coaches and athletes to conduct in-depth analyses of technique, movement, performance and execution during conditioning sessions. 

The addition will be constructed facing Larry Heller Drive and will include large windows looking out on the activity in the gymnasium.

Media contact:  Keith Michaud | | 209.946.3275

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