VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has received a $1 million commitment from alumnus and Villanova Basketball great Kyle Lowry—a three-time NBA All-Star guard for the Toronto Raptors and U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist—and his wife, Ayahna, as part of the University’s comprehensive capital campaign, “For the Greater Great: The Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change.” In recognition of his gift—the largest single gift from a Villanova Basketball alumnus—the University will name the men’s basketball locker room in the Pavilion the “Kyle Lowry Men’s Basketball Locker Room.” The Pavilion is currently in the midst of a major renovation project and, when the transformation is complete, will be renamed the William B. Finneran Pavilion.
“On behalf of the Lowry family—Karter, Kameron, Ayahna and myself—we are honored to be able to have this opportunity to give back to Villanova University in this form,” said Lowry. “We are very excited about the Kyle Lowry locker room.”
“Kyle is a prime example of the type of student we seek to develop at Villanova—someone who takes the opportunities and lessons learned while here to create success in whatever path they choose,” said University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA. “Kyle has certainly been very successful in his time since Villanova and I am grateful to him and family for their generosity and investment in Villanova Athletics, which will benefit our student-athletes for years to come.”
Hailing from Philadelphia where he attended Cardinal Dougherty High School, Lowry chose to stay in the Philadelphia area to continue his education and basketball career at Villanova University, where he played for head coach Jay Wright. A dynamic guard for the Wildcats throughout his Villanova career, Lowry was selected with the 24th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies.
"Kyle Lowry was a great teammate who took tremendous pride in the Villanova Basketball program,” said Coach Wright. “This gift is another illustration of Kyle's generosity to his fellow members of our basketball family. We're all very proud of the player and, more importantly, the man, Kyle has become."
Lowry spent the first six years of his career with the Grizzlies and Houston Rockets before being traded to the Raptors in 2012. As a cornerstone of the Raptors organization, Lowry has been a three-time NBA All-Star, starting for the Eastern Conference in both 2015 and 2016. In 2015–16, he helped lead the Raptors to its highest win total (56) in franchise history and a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time. In the summer of 2016, Lowry was a member of the U.S. men's national team that won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“We cannot thank Kyle and his family enough for the generosity and support of the Finneran Pavilion,” said Mark Jackson, Director of Athletics. “To have his name associated with the men’s basketball locker room where so much tradition has been established and where the nation’s top players come to play is fitting on all fronts. I’m confident the Lowry name being highlighted upon entry into this space will provide daily inspiration to our players who want to achieve at the highest levels of basketball as Kyle has done with his own career.”
Lowry’s gift will have a significant impact on the Pavilion renovation project by supporting the construction of a world-class locker room for Men’s Basketball. The new locker room will feature 16 custom-made lockers, an audio system, video system for dissecting game film and recreational viewing and custom graphics throughout. These features will further enhance the spirit and unity of Villanova’s elite men’s basketball team and will reflect the caliber of student-athletes who take the court. The $60 million Pavilion renovation will be funded entirely through philanthropic commitments.
“We are grateful to Kyle and Ayahna for including this important gift in their family’s philanthropy,” said Michael J. O’Neill, Senior Vice President for University Advancement. “The student-athlete experience at Villanova University is life-changing—this profound contribution honors that experience while supporting a critical capital project that will impact future Wildcats for years to come.”
Kyle and Ayahna Lowry are active philanthropists, establishing the Lowry Love Foundation in 2013. The organization supports underprivileged and disadvantaged Philadelphians and Torontonians with the goal to improve their quality of life.
Lowry was recently named the winner of the Native Son Award by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association. He is scheduled to receive the award at the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s annual banquet, which will take place Monday, Jan. 15 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, N.J. The Toronto Raptors are in Philadelphia to play the 76ers that afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.
Villanova launched the public phase of its campaign in Oct. 2013, and to date has raised more than $730 million. The most ambitious in the University’s 176-year history, the Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change is aimed at cultivating academic innovation across its schools and colleges, investing in recruiting and retaining the finest teacher-scholars, dramatically enhancing financial aid and student opportunities, and continuing to build a premier living-learning environment on the University’s 260-acre campus. For more information on the Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change, visit www.forthegreatergreat.com.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu.