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UIS receives $1 million gift for new recreation and fitness center

July 13, 2005

SPRINGFIELD – University of Illinois at Springfield Chancellor Richard Ringeisen announced today a gift of $1 million from the Hoogland Family Foundation of Charles and Kathleen Hoogland for the new recreation and fitness center that will soon be constructed at UIS.

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“We are very grateful for the support of the Hoogland family, whose generosity will allow us to build an even better recreation and fitness center for our students,” said Ringeisen. “Because of this gift, we will be able to enhance the facility in many ways.”

The $1 million gift will bring to $14.1 million the total cost of the center, a figure that is expected to be approved by the U of I Board of Trustees at its regular meeting on July 14 in Chicago.

During a news conference today to announce the gift and the design for the 57,513 net-square-foot center, Charles Hoogland, owner of Family Video, the Springfield-based video rental chain, said he and his family want to support UIS in its efforts to build the campus and develop student life. “This university is a great asset to this community, and the success and well-being of its students is a key factor in its ability to continue moving forward,” Hoogland said.

During a tour of the campus, Hoogland said he was amazed at how much the university had grown. “I didn’t even know there were residence halls…. but when I visited the [current] fitness center and gym, I could see that it needed a lot more space for students.  It needed space for more activities that other universities have now,” he commented.

When Hoogland learned that a new recreation center was going to be built and paid for by students, he was inspired.  “I figured that if students were going to support the center, I could give as well,” he said.

In April 2003, a student referendum was held at UIS to determine the level of support for a recreational facilities fee for the center.  A total of 66% of the students who voted indicated their support for the fee of $60 per semester that started in fall 2004 and will increase over a three-year period up to $185 per semester.

Family Video, the largest privately-owned chain in the video retail industry in the U.S., was started by Hoogland in 1978.  He inherited Midstates Appliance and Supply Company, the predecessor to Family Video, from his father, Clarence, who started the company in 1946.  Midstates Appliance became a distributor for Magnetic Video, the first supplier of videocassettes for Hollywood studios.

In the 1970s, Midstates had a huge inventory of excess video movies, which prompted the company to begin renting videos instead of selling them.  At that point, Midstates set up the Video Movie Club of Springfield, one of the first video rental stores in the United States.  The Family Video chain of stores evolved from that club.

Today, Family Video has over 400 stores in 10 states and employs more than 4,000 people. The company also now provides dial-up Internet service and online shopping. Hoogland is the chain’s CEO, and his sons, Keith and Eric, are president and vice president, respectively.

In 2004, the Hoogland Family Foundation made a five-year pledge to UIS’ Sangamon Auditorium (and gave $1 million to the Center for the Arts in Springfield, later named the Hoogland Center for the Arts).

Hoogland is a graduate of Yale University, and his wife, Kathleen, attended the University of Colorado.  The couple also have two daughters – Liza (Hoogland) Reynolds of Northfield, Illinois, and K.K. (Hoogland) Heslop of Park City, Utah.

  

 

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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