MERCED, CA — Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey announced today that the UC Merced gymnasium expansion campaign is getting an enormous boost thanks to an extremely generous donation from Greg and Cathie Hostetler of Los Banos. The multipurpose gym will be a featured highlight of the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center, a project launched with a gift from Joseph Gallo Farms founder Joseph Edward Gallo, daughter Linda Jelacich and son Michael Gallo.
Planned to be an innovative, state-of-the-art facility that houses athletic, recreational, nutritional, medical and counseling programs and services, the center embodies UC Merced's emphasis on health of the mind and body.
The $500,000 contribution from the Hostetlers marks the official start of a regional campaign to raise funds for the expansion and enhancement of the campus gymnasium. With a two-year goal of raising $1.365 million, the drive for private funds is one of the largest in Merced County's history.
Members of the campaign committee are Sandee Boese, Billie Razzari, Mike Gallo, Ken Robbins, Mike Salvadori, Aldo Sansoni and Ralph Temple.
“In addition to outstanding academic opportunities, UC Merced will offer resources that are important to the health and recreational life of students, faculty, staff and the community,” said Chancellor Tomlinson-Keasey. “Through their wonderful support of UC Merced's gymnasium, Greg and Cathie Hostetler have guaranteed a strong foundation for athletics and other recreational activities as an integral part of campus life.”
In honor of their support, the main court in the gymnasium will be named the Greg and Cathie Hostetler Court. Envisioned as a NCAA regulation-sized court to host future intercollegiate athletic events, Hostetler Court also will serve as a venue for intramural and club sports, musical and dance performances, distinguished speakers, social events and special ceremonies.
“The Merced community and the greater Merced County region have been very good to us over the years,” said Greg Hostetler, who was born in Merced. “Cathie and I feel we have a responsibility to give back to the community and feel grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to higher education by donating to the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center.”
Owners of Ranchwood Homes, the Hostetlers founded the company in 1984 and have provided new homes for thousands of San Joaquin Valley residents in the past 20 years. With corporate offices in Los Banos, Ranchwood Homes is currently building in Merced, Atwater, Gustine, Newman, Dos Palos, Los Banos and Madera County.
In addition, the Hostetlers own Ranchwood Contractors, a land development and trucking company that handles site development for Ranchwood Homes and other businesses, and Hostetler Farms, a farming operation of approximately 3,000 acres in Merced County. As active community leaders in their region, the Hostetlers are regular supporters of non-profit organizations, community events and a range of youth oriented programs.
For additional information about the UC Merced Gymnasium Expansion Campaign, please contact Associate Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Mike Campbell at (209) 724-4402.