Contact: Tom Hathaway
CINCINNATI, Ohio – To recognize the long-standing leadership of Dr. Joseph Steger and the positive impact that the University of Cincinnati has had on developing greater Cincinnati leaders, Fifth Third Bank President & CEO George A. Schaefer, Jr., today presented a total of $10 million in contributions to the University of Cincinnati. The gifts from Fifth Third and Fifth Third Foundation – among the largest single gifts ever received by the university – will support the Richard E. Lindner Varsity Village, a plan for improving current athletic facilities. Varsity Village will also position UC as one of America’s elite athletic programs.
University President Joseph A. Steger announced, on receiving the gift, that the university’s basketball competition facility would henceforth be named Fifth Third Arena at Myrl H. Shoemaker Center.
“The Richard E. Lindner Varsity Village supports the fourth initiative in the transformation of the University of Cincinnati campus,” Steger said. “After achieving excellence in research facilities, academic facilities and green space, the university is now engaged in providing the best facilities for student services and campus life.”
George Schaefer stated, “These gifts bridge the past and the future. It is a vote of confidence in the university’s vision to recruit and launch outstanding athletes and scholars, and a recognition of Dr. Steger’s long-standing leadership at UC, and the positive impact his efforts have had in developing greater Cincinnati leaders, including many Fifth Third employees.”
Varsity Village represents the integration and upgrade of the University of Cincinnati’s athletic facilities. The project is anchored by a new athletic center providing centralized administrative and coaching offices, reception and meeting space, a museum detailing the history of the university and its sports programs, and centralized sports medicine facilities. In addition, existing facilities and outdoor fields will be upgraded for wider use by the university’s students.
Cincinnati has achieved success on and off the playing fields and courts in recent years. Over the past five years, UC teams have posted .618 winning percentage, claimed 23 conference championships and produced 31 All-Americans.
Academically, UC's documented graduation rate for student-athletes at 61 percent exceeds the national average for Division I programs as well as the university's graduation rate for all students. Additionally, UC's athletic program was cited as the fifth-best athletic program at providing opportunities for women in last year's U.S. News and World Report rankings.
Fifth Third has been a long-term supporter of the University of Cincinnati. Since 1985, Fifth Third has contributed $14 million toward various projects at UC.
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $81 billion in assets, operates 17 affiliate banks with 936 full-service Banking Centers including 136 Bank Mart“ locations open seven days a week inside select grocery stores and 2,000 Jeanie“ ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee and West Virginia. In 1948, Fifth Third became one of the first financial institutions in the country to establish a permanently endowed corporate Foundation Office.