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Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation Gives a Boost to Recreationand Wellness at UC Merced

August 31, 2004
Gift Will Support Expansion of Joseph Edward Gallo Center

MERCED, CA — The Modesto-based Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation has contributed $500,000 for the expansion and enhancement of the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center at the new campus of the University of California, Merced.

“Our future students will benefit from a larger, more developed facility that will allow us to focus not just on primary care, but also on health education and maintaining a healthy life style,” says Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jane Lawrence. “The Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation has helped to fill these needs, and we thank them wholeheartedly for their vision and generosity.”

Planned as an innovative, multipurpose facility, the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center initially was funded mainly through a $2 million gift from Joseph Edward Gallo, founder of Atwater-based Joseph Gallo Farms, and his family. The center will break new ground by blending wellness services and recreational activities under one roof. This should encourage collaboration, joint programming and the synergies that are likely to come from a combined focus on athletic and health-related issues.

The gift from the Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation (MSR) will support the overall expansion of the wellness center portion of the building, allowing improved facilities to be placed inside through the generosity of other donors. The recreation portion of the building will be expanded as well. For example, the gymnasium will be expanded to a NCAA regulation-sized basketball court, a second volleyball court will be added, and lobby and locker room space will increase.

“From the beginning, the foundation's main thrust has been education, and supporting UC Merced is in line with that goal,” says foundation director John S. Rogers, a son of Mary Stuart Rogers. “We originally made this gift available to support any part of the campus, and we feel that the university has directed the funds well to enhance the recreation and wellness center.”

The late Mary Stuart Rogers was a homemaker and mother with a deep commitment to education. In 1982, using proceeds from a stock sale, she began the MSR Foundation to provide educational opportunities to under-served students who are motivated to succeed. The foundation also reflects her concern for women, children, homelessness and blindness. Mary Stuart Rogers passed away in 1992, leaving her two sons to direct the foundation, which supports colleges and universities throughout California, elementary and secondary education in the San Joaquin Valley, and various other charitable causes.

For additional information about the fundraising campaign to expand the UC Merced Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center, please contact Associate Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Mike Campbell at (209) 724-4402.