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MSU golf center to be named in honor of Lasch family

“Private support is positioning Michigan State to compete at the highest levels and to provide extraordinary experiences for all students” -President Lou Anna K. Simon

MSU Alumnus Richard W. (Rick) and Suzanne Lasch

MSU golf center to be named in honor of Lasch family

Helping to ensure the future success of the Michigan State University golf program, Richard W. (Rick) and Suzanne Lasch of East Lansing have made a $2 million gift that will be used for the construction of a new men’s and women’s golf center.

At its meeting today, the MSU Board of Trustees voted to approve naming the facility the Lasch Family Golf Center.

“Private support is positioning Michigan State to compete at the highest levels and to provide extraordinary experiences for all students,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “We are grateful for the vision and generosity of the Lasch family, which will help us to continue to pursue excellence in our athletic programs.”

The Lasch Family Golf Center will be an 18,000-square-foot building that will include an indoor practice area, student-athlete lounge, men’s and women’s locker rooms, coaches’ offices, video room and a kitchen area featuring nutrition/hydration stations.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by January 2016.

The gift is in support of Empower Extraordinary – the campaign for Michigan State. The athletics portion of the campaign is a $262 million goal and is focused on enhancing the student-athlete experience through championship level facilities, increasing its endowment and elevated annual giving. 

“This gift and new golf complex goes back to our mission statement and will be a new place to gather and engage,” said MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis. “We continue to say that this campaign will transform our entire department and the Lasch’s gift is another great example as we continue to build momentum.”

The campaign goal for facilities is $92 million and the Lasch’s gift brings MSU Athletics to more than $61 million, or 66 percent of the goal.  Bob and Julie Skandalaris gave the first leadership gift to the golf center with $3 million, but at their request, the naming opportunity for the facility remained open in their hope to honor and motivate other donors. 

Rick Lasch graduated with a BA in Marketing from the Broad College of Business in 1990.

“When our circumstances allowed us to increase our charitable giving, Suzanne and I saw MSU athletics and specifically the golf program as a great opportunity to have a positive impact,” said Lasch. “We are proud to be a part of a winning program that will make a difference in inspiring not just student-athletes but all of MSU.” 

The gifts and new facility build on the momentum of the MSU men’s and women’s golf programs.

MSU women’s golf has won 11 Big Ten Championships—second most in conference history—including five under Head Coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll. The team has earned a bid to the NCAA Regionals in 16 of the last 17 seasons.

“We are so thankful for the Lasch Family and their belief and support of our programs. This facility is a dream come true for us and will allow us to continue our tradition of excellence, both on the course and in the classroom,” said Slobodnik-Stoll.

The men’s golf program has also been steadily on the rise, including capturing the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic tournament last fall.

MSU Men’s Golf Head Coach Casey Lubahn echoed appreciation to the donors, noting: “We are humbled and incredibly grateful that Rick and Suzanne Lasch believe in our programs enough to make this tremendous gift. Along with Bob and Julie Skandalaris, they have helped make our new facility dream a reality. Their passion for Spartan Golf will give our dedicated student-athletes a cutting edge space to develop their games and bond together as Spartans. We look forward to calling the Lasch Family Golf Center our home for many years.”

For more information on the MSU Athletics and the Empower Extraordinary campaign go to SpartanFund.