$1 million gift made to Spartan Athletics
MSU alumna Mary Helen and Craig Crooks have made a $1 million donation to MSU Athletics in support of MSU's Empower Extraordinary campaign, according to a press release on Friday.
“As we continue to pursue excellence in our athletics programs, gifts like this help us maintain the momentum of success,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said in the release. “The men’s basketball and football programs are a source of pride for all Spartans and an engine of opportunity for the student-athletes in the programs. We are grateful to the Crooks family for their support and vision.”
According to the release, the donation will endow scholarships for student-athletes in men's basketball and football.
MSU Athletics seeks to raise $262 million to build championship-level facilities, increase endowment support and increase annual giving through MSU's Empower Extraordinary campaign.
“An athletics scholarship to Michigan State can be life changing for recipients and we are so grateful to Mary Helen and Craig for establishing these two endowed scholarships,” Athletic Director Mark Hollis said in the release. “Endowed gifts like this not only help support our department today, they also provide financial resources in perpetuity. We thank Mary Helen and Craig for leaving a legacy with Spartan Athletics today, tomorrow and forever.”
With the Crooks' gift, MSU Athletics is within $5 million of the $50 million campaign goal for endowments.
The release stated that the Crooks Family Men's Basketball Scholarship Endowment will give a full ride in-state scholarship.
The Crooks — among other donors who have provided a full ride basketball scholarship endowment — will be recognized in the Tom Izzo Hall of History along with being etched in the Athletics Endowment Donor Recognition Wall at the North End Zone Expansion of Spartan Stadium.
Mary Crooks is a 1980 graduate of the MSU College of Communication Arts and Science and is the CEO of Harlo Corporation in Grandville, Mich., which is a monitory-owned business that owns and operates a vast amount of companies.
"I was raised by immigrant parents who only had the opportunity for a formal education up to third grade, so I was raised with a very strong emphasis on higher education. My dad’s mantra was ‘never stop learning’,” Mary Helen Crooks said in the release. “Throughout our married life, Craig and I have been supporters, both through volunteering and financially, of our K-12 school districts and other school districts. The idea that we have reached a point in our lives where we can give back through a full scholarship to student athletes is very rewarding. We have been Spartan fans for decades, which makes the opportunity to make this kind of impact on a student-athlete’s education even more special.”
The Crooks — members of the Athletic Director’s Campaign Leadership Council — also contributed an additional gift to support MSU's softball program.