Gary & Rachel Sumers Recreation Center

$12 million gift to transform Athletics Complex

​Washington University alumnus and trustee Gary Sumers, AB '75, and his wife, Rachel, have committed $12 million to help expand and modernize the Athletic Complex at Washington University in St. Louis and create the Gary and Rachel Sumers Recreation Center. 

“Rachel and I are pleased to support the much-needed enhancements to the university’s Athletic Complex, which will create a facility equal to or exceeding the quality of those of our peer institutions in NCAA Division III,” says Mr. Sumers, a member of the campaign's Greater New York executive committee, and a member of the Arts & Sciences National Council. “The rejuvenated complex will support the university’s already extraordinary student experience, help develop a stronger sense of community and promote healthy lifestyles and fitness. We believe this is a great investment in our future leaders.” 

The project includes a complete 36,000-square-foot interior rejuvenation of historic Francis Gymnasium, site of the 1904 Olympics, as well as a 66,500-square-foot addition to the south side of Francis Gymnasium and an additional 20,000 square feet of improvements to the existing Athletic Complex. The addition to the Athletic Complex, last renovated and expanded in 1985, will offer sweeping views of Francis Field and house a three-court gymnasium with suspended running track, among many other recreational and athletic amenities.

The project will provide new spaces for intramurals, general university-wide fitness programs and team sport practices and workouts, as well as administrative offices, seminar and classroom areas and conference rooms.

“I was not an athlete growing up and do not come from a family of particular athletic skill or interest,” says Mrs. Sumers. “However, as an undergraduate student I started working out in my university's gym and, although it was tough at first, over the years I grew to appreciate and value being physically fit. I believed then and I still believe that physical fitness is an important component of college life and life beyond academics."

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“Gary and Rachel’s support will greatly enhance health and fitness opportunities for all who work and study on our campus and will play an important role in the recruitment of future students and

— Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton