COLUMBIA, Mo. (MUTigers.com) - Don and Audrey Walsworth of Marceline, Missouri, have given a nearly $8.3 million gift to the University of Missouri Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Through their generous gift, the Walsworth family will support athletic department facility improvements and expansions, including renovations to Memorial Stadium and a new clubhouse for the men's and women's golf teams at The Club at Old Hawthorne. The new clubhouse will house coaches' offices, team locker rooms, indoor heated hitting bays and the latest in swing instruction technology.
"We are so very grateful to the Walsworth family for everything they contribute to the University," MU Athletic Director Mike Alden said. "Their support for Mizzou Athletics over the years has been inspiring, and this announcement is yet another example of how they will provide a positive impact on student-athletes for generations to come."
Don Walsworth, an MU alumnus and CEO of the Walsworth Publishing Company Inc., is a former chairman of the University of Missouri Board of Curators. He says this gift is an opportunity for his family to give back to the university that has meant so much to them.
"The university has been very good to us over the years, including our children and grandchildren," Walsworth said. "This gift is indicative of the fantastic leadership of the university and the athletic department, including the outstanding coaches and staff. We are so pleased with the organization and administration. We love the move to the SEC and how far athletics has advanced to achieve national prominence in so many different sports. Our gift is also for the-student athletes, as we believe their education should come first - an ideal I know our family shares with the university."
"I can't emphasize enough how much this means for our golf program," said Mark Leroux, men's golf coach. "The new facility will be an integral part of training our student-athletes and helping them improve their skills, but it also will greatly benefit our recruiting process as well. With this facility in place, it's going to be a tremendous boost to both the men's and women's programs here at Mizzou. We are so very thankful to the Walsworth family for everything they have done, and continue to do for the University of Missouri and for Mizzou Athletics."
"The Mizzou women's golf program is so grateful for the support of the Walsworth family, and we are so excited for our new facility. Our players will truly have a place to call home like never before," Stephanie Priesmeyer, women's golf coach, said. "When I played, and even when I began coaching twelve years ago, facilities really didn't matter much in women's golf, from a recruiting standpoint. But now it's everything, and the new facility will allow us to be even more competitive with the top programs in the country."
Don and Audrey's son, Ed, and daughter, Lynn, played on the Mizzou golf teams while attending MU, and their son, Don, Jr., was an Academic All-American golfer at Stanford University. The Walsworth family has shown their generosity to MU and the Tiger Scholarship Fund many times throughout the years. This gift brings the Walsworth family's total giving to MU to nearly $14 million.