California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks said Feb. 22 that it received $5 million for a new football stadium. The gift is the largest single donation in the history of the university.
The new 3,000-seat facility will be named after donor and Ventura County real estate developer William Rolland. His gift is only the second sizeable gift to the university from someone not affiliated with CLU as an alumnus or member of the Lutheran Church.
“Bill is an extraordinary man who has provided CLU with an extraordinary gift,” CLU President Chris Kimball said in a release. “At a time when many institutions are struggling, we are fortunate to be able to be move forward with plans to build several state-of-the-art facilities.”
Rolland’s donation will go towards the $8 million stadium, which will start construction this summer and is scheduled to be complete in time for the start of the 2011 football season. Currently, CLU cannot host playoff games because its Mount Clef Stadium, built in the ’60s, does not meet National Collegiate Athletic Association criteria.
The stadium will also house an art gallery for Rolland’s collection of bronze statues and other art pieces.
“I’m so pleased to be able to contribute to the growth of CLU in this lasting way,” Rolland said in a release. “This is one of the most exciting ventures I’ve ever undertaken.”
Rolland spent four decades as a real estate developer in Ventura County and was a founding resident of Westlake Village. He has a history of philanthropic endeavors, including the establishment of the William Rolland Firefighters Foundation in Westlake Village and the William Rolland Firefighter Educational Institute in Hollywood.