$3 million gift to American U. will support athletics

American University on Tuesday announced that it will build a Center for Athletic Performance thanks to a $3 million gift from a longtime supporter.

The center “will attract, support, and engage our community while helping our student-athletes and Patriot League champion teams reach new heights,” President Sylvia Burwell said in a statement.

The center is made possible by a gift of $3 million from Jack and Denise Cassell. Jack Cassell “literally grew up on this campus,” athletic director Billy Walker said in the statement, going “from bat boy to student-athlete to Chairman of the Board of Trustees.” He called Cassell’s father, Stafford Cassell, the “Father of AU Athletics.”

The Cassell family previously donated $3 million to American University for a new residence hall that opened in 2013.

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