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Gift to create indoor golf training center, Hall of Achievement

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. An indoor putting green, a swing-analysis video computer system and multiple heated hitting bays are just three of the features of a $1.8 million indoor golf training center to be built at Purdue's Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex next fall.

Tom Spurgeon

A celebration of the 11,400-square-foot Tom Spurgeon Golf Training Center, named after lead donor Tom Spurgeon, will begin at approximately 10 a.m. today (Saturday, 9/21) at the President's Council pregame event in the Purdue Memorial Union Ballrooms.

"Tom Spurgeon has made a hole in one with this gift of nearly three-quarters of a million dollars toward this golf facility," Purdue President Martin C. Jischke said. "Not only will he lift our golf program to the next level, his $1 million gift for the Dick and Sandy Dauch Alumni Center's Hall of Achievement also will help us create a fantastic foyer to showcase the achievements and promise of this great university."

Morgan Burke, Purdue athletics director, said the indoor training center will be the "jewel in the crown" of Purdue's 36-hole Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex. The Kampen and Ackerman Hills courses have undergone more than $8 million in improvements since 1996.

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Other areas of the facility include team locker rooms, a lounge, coaches' offices, a pro shop and a classroom. The architectural design will be similar to the clubhouse and other facilities at the course. The center will be open to the public when not in use by Purdue golf teams.

Spurgeon, of Peoria Heights, Ill., graduated from Purdue in 1961 with a bachelor's degree in industrial management. An entrepreneur who has built companies throughout the United States, he most recently was president and CEO of Lincoln Office in Peoria, Ill. He has served on the executive committee of the Purdue Alumni Association Board of Directors and chairs its Strategic Planning Task Force.

Spurgeon said he is confident his gift will provide an additional resource for the Purdue golf programs to sustain national prominence.

"As the best junior golfers evaluate their collegiate options, Purdue University will present a total package – from academics to outstanding coaches to year-round facilities – and emerge as a top choice," Spurgeon said. "Being in a northern climate, it's a little difficult to have a year-round program. The training center will negate the winter golf climate and assist the golfers with technical swing evaluation."

Devon Brouse, head men's golf coach, said the facility will be a great help in recruiting, training and teaching.

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"From a technology standpoint, this takes us right to the forefront of college golf," Brouse said. "We already have outstanding golf courses. Once this facility is complete, it's simply a matter of attracting the top student-athletes."

The video computer system will be useful not only in perfecting golfers' swings, but also in providing a virtual reality experience on the courses where Purdue golfers will compete. Brouse said that should pique the interest of Purdue golf recruits.

"We want to seize the momentum of strong finishes in the recent NCAA national golf championships and keep attracting the best student-athletes here," Brouse said.

Nancy Cross, associate athletics director, said Brouse is a visionary who, in the past four years, has not only established a solid tradition of top-caliber golf at Purdue, but also knows what it takes to position Purdue as an NCAA golf leader.

"Devon Brouse has taken Purdue golf to a new level," Cross said. "With his premier coaching staff, top-caliber athletes and a state-of-the-art training facility, we've hit an approach shot that should put us on the NCAA leader board for years to come."

Brouse said he looks forward to the day when Purdue golf is synonymous with college golf excellence.

"When I was a kid in the '50s and '60s, Purdue golf was pretty special," Brouse said. "We won the national championship in 1961. Now, we can have that same kind of tradition redeveloping."

The new alumni center, under construction at the southwest corner of Grant and Wood streets, will be funded entirely through private sources and will be completed in late 2003 or early 2004. The 2,000-square-foot Hall of Achievement will showcase Purdue accomplishments and history through interactive kiosks and museum-quality exhibits collected from around the campus.

The Tom Spurgeon Golf Training Center announcement is part of Discover Purdue Week, during which the university will unveil its fund-raising campaign. Events and festivities will include homecoming, groundbreakings, Bill Cosby's campus show and Boilermaker football.

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704,

Sources: Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708

Devon Brouse, (765) 494-2290,

Tom Spurgeon (309) 693-2444,

Morgan Burke, (765) 494-3189,

Nancy Cross, (765) 494-3248,

Carolyn Gery, associate vice president for development, (765) 494-8653,

Related Web sites:
Purdue Golf
Purdue Alumni Association
Purdue University Office of Development


Architectural renderings provide front and rear views of the future Tom Spurgeon Golf Training Center. The $1.8 million, 11,400-square-foot facility, to be built at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, will feature an indoor putting green, a swing-analysis video computer system and multiple heated hitting bays. (Image provided by Keystone Architects Inc.)

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Tom Spurgeon greets an enthusiastic Purdue President's Council pregame brunch crowd including associate vice president for development Carolyn Gery, left, and Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke and associate athletic director Nancy Cross, right. Spurgeon's contribution toward the $1.8 million Tom Spurgeon Indoor Golf Training Center was announced Saturday (9/21). The 11,400-square-foot center will feature an indoor putting green, a swing-analysis video computer system and multiple heated hitting bays. (Purdue News Service Photo/Dave Umberger)

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