General | April 18, 2022

PHILADELPHIA CREAM – The University of Pennsylvania today announced a $17.5 million donation to The Penn Track & Field and Cross Country Campaign for Excellence by Jay Alix, graduate of the Wharton School in 1977, recognized philanthropist and founder of AlixPartners, the global consulting firm. This significant donation will support the centerpiece of the campaign, a planned indoor athletics facility that will be located on the southeast corner of campus. Alix’s donation provides vital support to begin construction on this long-planned project. When completed, the new athletics center will be the only such collegiate indoor facility in the greater Philadelphia area.

Alix’s pledge complements a primary donation from Jane Ott, W’87, and David Ott, W’85, and will name the area Jay Alix Throws in the new Jane and David Ott Center for Track & Field.

“We are extremely grateful to Jay Alix for this extraordinary gift, which provides the additional support needed to turn a decades-old dream into a reality,” said Wendell Pritchett, interim chairman of Penn. “The new athletic center will have a significant impact on Penn’s program, enhancing our ability to recruit and develop varsity athletes into leaders on and off the field.”

The planned 73,000 square foot structure will be located behind the existing Hollenback Center near the South Street Bridge. Designed specifically for athletics, it will feature a 200-meter six-lane inclined track; an eight-lane sprint track; areas dedicated to field events; and seats for spectators during competitions. Construction is expected to begin in August 2022.

For Alix, this gift is personal. “My time at Penn was made all the more memorable by training and competing as a pitcher, often in inclement weather. Track and field is an incredibly diverse sport and serves as an ideal platform for students to develop the work team building and leadership skills that will serve well beyond their college years. Investing in these talented student-athletes is more important than ever. I am excited to help get this new facility started in construction. will build on Penn’s legacy of athletic achievement to create an even brighter future for Penn athletes.”

The planned Ott Center will provide countless benefits to Penn track and field athletes. “This modern venue will not only allow us to attract elite college-athletes, but will also serve as the home for Penn’s cross country and track and field teams. Improved training and competition facilities for our talented student-athletes sends a strong message that Penn Athletics is committed to helping them reach their full potential,” said Steve DolanJames P. Tuppeny/Betty J. Costanza Athletics/Cross Country Director.

Alanna Shanahan, C’96, T. Gibbs Kane, Jr., W’69, director of athletics and recreation, sees the impact through an even broader lens. “We are so grateful to Jay for his generosity to this project and the Penn Athletics and Cross Country Campaign for Excellence. With new, state-of-the-art facilities like the Jay Alix Throws area in the Ott Center, Penn Athletics is raising its profile nationally while expanding the experiences we provide for our college-athletes. As the former general manager of the Penn Relays, athletics is a sport close to my heart. In addition to inspiring excellence for Penn track and field athletes, the Ott Center will also have a positive impact far beyond track and field, serving as a welcoming center for recreation and wellness for communities across the Greater Penn and West Philadelphia.

Additional naming opportunities in the new installation are available. please contact Tim FolanSenior Associate Athletics Director, for more information: (215) 573-0315 or [email protected]

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University of Pennsylvania Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) is a broad division comprised of 33 intercollegiate teams, 37 club sports teams, and extensive intramural sports and campus recreation programs, all taking place at 22 sports and recreation facilities. Students, faculty and staff are also served through membership-based access to Pottruck Health and Fitness Centerranked No. 2 nationally this year, the Fox Fitness Center and access to a variety of shared facilities. The facilities are contained within a contiguous 24-acre footprint at the east end of campus, generally considered one of the best athletic facilities among urban campuses, with assets including Franklin Field, The Palestra, and Penn Park.

The University of Pennsylvania, founded in 1740, is an Ivy League institution with a distinctive past. Its 12 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools are located in Philadelphia on an attractive urban campus that serves a diverse community of more than 20,000 students from across the country and around the world. Consistently ranked among the top universities in the nation, Penn enjoys a reputation for excellence in higher and professional education.