June 15, 2022 at 10:00am
Kendall Trump, Class of 2013

Millikin athletic facility receives major donation from football alumni

On Friday, May 20, 2022, Millikin University's Board of Trustees approved construction plans for a new $6.7 million campus facility to support student athletes. Construction is scheduled to begin once fundraising for the project is completed.

At the time of the project's approval, a major gift by David and Debbie Rathje combined with additional fundraising gifts totaled $3.7 million, and in early June, the Perryman Family stepped forward with a generous gift, bringing the fundraising total to more than $5 million of the $6.7 million goal.

Millikin University Locker Room

The gift made by the Perryman Family will support the naming of the Perryman Family/Carl Poelker Weight Room inside the new facility, which will accommodate student-athletes from all sports at Millikin. 

James "Jim" Perryman, Class of 1983, and Frank Perryman, Class of 1987, were both involved in Big Blue athletics as football and track and field athletes. Jim was inducted into Millikin's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994 for his accomplishments and contributions to the Big Blue football program.

"The Perrymans are very proud of being part of the new weight and locker room facility," commented Jim Perryman. "Millikin's football program gave me the opportunity to play in the NFL." Following his college football career, Jim played in the NFL in 1985 for the Buffalo Bills and in 1987 for the Indianapolis Colts.

Jim and Frank Perryman are owners of their family's metal supply company, Perryman Company, located in Houston, Pa. Founded in 1988, the company has grown into a global leader in titanium product manufacturing. As proud alumni, Jim and Frank have remained connected to their alma mater, supplying titanium face masks for the Big Blue football team's helmets. "We are happy to give back to the Millikin football program," they remarked.

Millikin University Locker Room

The new campus facility will be located on Millikin's campus at the current site of the Old Gym, which is planned to be razed to allow for new construction. Millikin's architectural partner for the project is Decatur (Ill.) firm BLDD.

Features of the 10,000-square-foot athletic facility include:

  • A weight room/performance center.
  • 120 locker rooms with the ability to be divided into two spaces.
  • Multipurpose meeting room and training room. 

This project serves as the first phase of Millikin University's Athletic Facilities Expansion and Renovation capital initiative.

To learn more about this athletics project, visit millikin.edu/athletic-facilities-expansion.

For more information on this and other capital initiatives, contact Gina Bianchi, Class of 1993, vice president of alumni and development, at 217.424.6383 or gbianchi@millikin.edu