Kyle and Kevin Washington, sons of Dennis and Phyllis Washington, announced the gift on behalf of the Washington Foundation. The money will help pay for half of the university’s planned $14 million Washington-Grizzly Champions Center.
The 46,000-square-foot facility is planned for the stadium’s southwest corner. It will include new football locker rooms and a two-level weight room open to each of the university’s 15 athletic teams.
“Something new was well beyond needed,” said Kyle Washington, a 1996 UM alumni. “A school with pride like Montana needs to have the facilities that help its student-athletes be at a championship level in everything they do, and that was missing.”
Kevin echoed his brother’s comments. “The Grizzlies have a strong tradition of excellence, and this facility is an investment that sends a clear message to the student-athletes who give so much to the University that the tradition of excellence will continue,” he said.
Over the years, Dennis and Phyllis Washington and their foundation have been among the University’s most generous benefactors. Among many other facilities, programs and scholarships, the foundation has been a key supporter of the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, helping establish the Phyllis J. Washington Center for Education in 2009 and, most recently, providing $2.4 million to support the college-prep curriculum EdReady. The foundation has given more than $150 million to various causes since it was established in 1988.
“The Washington family’s generosity to the University of Montana is truly remarkable,” said UM President Royce Engstrom. “Their latest investment will benefit thousands of student-athletes who will use the new facility in the decades to come.”