DENTON – Don and Patty Lovelace, their son Dillon and granddaughter Macey have made the largest donation to North Texas Athletics in the department's history, Vice President and Director of Athletics Director Wren Baker announced Friday.
The Lovelace family's gift is $2.5 million, which will be used to help build the Mean Green's new indoor football practice facility.
"The Lovelace family has been tremendous supporters of UNT and the Denton community for many years," Baker said. "They are generous in many ways beyond just financial support. This latest commitment continues a steadfast dedication to student-athlete growth and development and to our mission of 'building champions and preparing leaders.' I am grateful for their support and for their friendship."
The Lovelace family has a long history of loyal support to UNT, providing personal and financial contributions to various campus departments for decades. Their involvement in Mean Green athletics goes back more than 10 years, beginning with a gift for naming rights of the Mean Green softball facility in 2005. They were also one of the original purchasers of a suite at Apogee Stadium to help initiate that fundraising effort.
Don serves on the President's Leadership Board, Foundation Board, Murphy Enterprise Center Board and Athletics Advisory Board. He is the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lily of the Desert, a business founded in 1970 that is a leading supplier of healthy beverages, foods, and nutritional supplements distributed globally to more than 45 countries.
"Our family is very excited to see the UNT football program starting to achieve its potential," Don Lovelace said. "The UNT football program, under the leadership of President Neal Smatresk, Athletics Director Wren Baker, and head football coach Seth Littrell, is bringing championship football to our university, and doing it the right way, by building champions and preparing leaders. We are optimistic that the addition of this indoor practice facility will further enhance this cause."
Patty has been involved in a variety of philanthropic efforts with several local charitable organizations including The American Cancer Society, Denton State School and Serve Denton. She has been active in various school organizations at Liberty Christian School in Argyle, where Dillon graduated from and Dillon's daughter Macey currently attends.
Dillon serves as corporate vice president of Lily of the Desert and oversees commercial strategy and operations of the Denton-based company. He has been closely involved with North Texas Athletics for more than a decade, donating toward special projects and serving on various advisory committees.
Construction on the indoor football practice facility will begin this fall, with completion scheduled for the summer of 2019. The facility will be constructed adjacent to the Mean Green Athletics Center, taking the place of one of the current grass practice fields. An official groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility will take place on September 29 at 3 p.m., prior to the Joe Greene statue unveiling at 4 p.m. and the Mean Green football game against Louisiana Tech at 6:30.