When it comes to Rutgers, Gary and Barbara Rodkin have two passions, academics and athletics. And it’s fitting—the couple met in a Rutgers library, and their courtship included dates at Scarlet Knights basketball games. Gary RC’74 (a 2015 inductee into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni) and Barbara DC’76 recently married their interest in academics and athletics with the biggest gift in Rutgers Athletics history: $15 million to create the Gary and Barbara Rodkin Center for Academic Success. “Being a successful student-athlete is a difficult balancing act,” says Gary. “We feel a responsibility to help provide the resources necessary for them to achieve” in athletic competition and in the classroom.

Academic support services for the 700 student-athletes at Rutgers University–New Brunswick are scattered among several locations. Now, they will be consolidated at the Rodkin Center, which will be located across from High Point Solutions Stadium on Busch campus in Piscataway. The center will have accommodations for academic advising, learning specialists, tutoring, workshops, and study halls as well as a computer lab and a lounge to foster peer-to-peer learning among student-athletes from all sports. “Most of our student-athletes are not going to play professionally,” says Barbara, making it all the more important to prepare them to succeed in a range of endeavors after they leave Rutgers. “We trust that many will become leaders in whatever field they choose to pursue.” — Melissa Kvidahl Reilly