Sunday, August 1, 2021

MSU Athletics receives $1.5 million donation for Munn Renovation Project

July 9, 2021
It was senior night for the Spartans at Munn Ice Arena, which left the attendees and players with tears in their eyes. The Fighting Irish shutout the Spartans 2-0 on Feb. 27, 2021.
It was senior night for the Spartans at Munn Ice Arena, which left the attendees and players with tears in their eyes. The Fighting Irish shutout the Spartans 2-0 on Feb. 27, 2021. —
Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

Michigan State athletics announced that the University received a $1.5 million donation from former MSU hockey player Gary Harpell and his wife Joanne to the Munn Ice Arena expansion project. 

Harpell played for MSU hockey from 1978 to 1982 after walking on to the team. 

“Walking on and making the team in 1978 was the fulfillment of many, many years of dreaming, and a goal of mine to play D1 college hockey," Harpell said in the press release. "I proved to myself that if I set my mind to something, I could really achieve it. I want that for everybody that comes through Michigan State.”

Michigan State began renovations on Munn in 2019 but paused construction in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The renovations will total $26.2 million focusing on improving all areas of the arena, which was originally built in 1974.

The renovations will include elevating many areas above ground, including the ice, weight room, office, administrative spaces and an MSU hockey hall of history. 

The Harpells are the fifth donors to commit at least $1 million to the renovations for Munn, including Tom and Lupe Izzo and the Forest Akers Trust.

There have been a total of 89 donors that have raised nearly $17 million. 

"This generous gift from the Harpells gives a vital assist to Spartan Hockey for the ongoing and long-awaited renovation of one of MSU's most storied sports facilities," MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. said. "Gary's experience is a great example of the important influence being a student-athlete has had on many Spartans' lives."


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