Auburn University announced the largest donation to its athletics program before Saturday’s home tilt against Georgia.
Walt and Ginger Woltosz have committed $10 million to build a new performance center for the university’s football program.
“We wanted to help Auburn be in a more competitive position for recruiting,” said Walt, who earned bachelor’s (1969) and master’s (1977) degrees in aerospace engineering from Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. “We felt like this was something we could help with. We love Auburn and appreciate what it means to be a member of the Auburn family.”
Athletics Director Allen Greene thanked the couple on behalf of the university. “We are profoundly grateful to Walt and Ginger for their extraordinary generosity,” he said. “Through their university-wide giving, the Woltoszes have consistently demonstrated that they believe in Auburn and love it.”
Comparing Auburn’s 30-year-old football facility with the newer facilities of SEC peers motivated the Woltoszes.
“We were really behind the eight ball,” Walt said. “We want to attract the finest student-athletes we can get and give them the wonderful experience of being part of the Auburn family and the Auburn team.”
“We always tell our players to use their influence in a positive way,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said. “Walt and Ginger are a great example of that. Their gift will help us compete for championships and serve our student- athletes for generations. They represent everything that Auburn stands for: hard work, concern for others and generosity.”
Including the Woltoszes’ gift, Tigers Unlimited has now received $31.5 million in gifts and commitments for the football performance center.
Walt and Ginger have been married for 38 years. They founded Words+ Inc. in 1981, creating personal-computer-based communication tools for people with severe disabilities, products that have been recognized by the Smithsonian Institution.
Walt pioneered the development of innovative simulation and modeling software for key space and military systems. In 1996, the Air Force veteran and his wife founded Simulations Plus Inc., which offers analytical and accounting technologies to more than 200 pharmaceutical firms.
The couple are members of Auburn’s 1856 Society, Petrie Society and Athletics’ Oaks Society, as well as the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering’s Keystone Donors.
They also recently collaborated on the soon-to-be released movie “Do Not Reply,” which they executive produced and he co-wrote, co-directed and produced with Daniel Woltosz, one of their five children.
“We would just encourage others to dig down,” Walt said. “You look for things you can do to make the world a better place and certainly, to help make Auburn a better place.”
The Auburn University board of trustees has approved the hiring of the architectural team Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood of Montgomery, with consultation from HOK Architects of Kansas City, Mo., to design the center.
The trustees will review and approve the size, scope and location of the project, as well as its budget, funding plan and design at a later date.