The University of Arizona has received a $1 million gift that will go towards upgrading its softball facilities.
Arizona Athletics announced last week that Dr. David Lapan, his wife, Krista, and their children, Lisa and Dana, have committed a $1 million gift in conjunction with the Lapan Charitable Trust and the Lapan Memorial Sunshine Fund. The donation will go towards initiating the first phase of upgrades planned for UA softball facilities.
As part of its ongoing softball campaign, Arizona Athletics has raised more than $1.5 million in donations to date.
"We are extremely grateful to Dr. Lapan, his family, the Lapan Charitable Trust and the Lapan Memorial Sunshine Fund for this lead gift," said Greg Byrne, UA director of athletics. "Their generosity, along with the contributions from a group of supporters, has made this project a reality and we look forward to providing these necessary upgrades for one of college softball's great programs."
Phase 1 of the softball facilities project will focus on upgrades and adding space for team programming at the Hillenbrand Fieldhouse. Byrne said infrastructure will need to be added in order to increase the square footage of the space in order to add a locker area, study center, lounge and auditorium.
If additional funding is secured, Phase 2 of the project will include enhancement of the batting cages and bullpen areas, fan seating, shade structures and other amenities to bolster the fan experience at Hillenbrand Stadium.
The Lapan Charitable Trust and Lapan Memorial Sunshine Fund are both family-run trusts that focus on providing money for education while supporting charitable organizations dedicated to education.
Lapan, a cardiologist, came to Tucson in 1974 to perform his residency. He helped start Pima Heart Associates, the largest cardiology group in Southern Arizona. Lapan is the son of Patricia Lapan, who founded the Lapan College Club to provide college funding for Tucson students.
With eight NCAA national championships, UA softball is one of Arizona Athletics' most successful programs. The team has just advanced to the super regionals following a walk-off victory against Louisiana State University on Sunday. (Read more about the win in this Arizona Athletics article.)
Hillenbrand Stadium draws an average of 32,000 fans per year and has hosted 21 softball seasons, including the season currently underway.
For more information about supporting Hillenbrand Stadium upgrades and other Arizona Athletics projects, click here.