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USC announces $8 million gift for new aquatics center

by Shirley Shin
USC alum Fred Uytengsu has donated $8 million to the USC Athletic Department
The $8 million gift from alumnus Wilfred “Fred” Uytengsu will fund the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. (Rendering/Courtesy of ELS Architecture and Urban Design)

The USC Athletic Department has announced an $8 million gift from Wilfred “Fred” Uytengsu ’83 to fund the Uytengsu Aquatics Center.

The gift – the largest ever made to the department by a former student-athlete – will provide a new home for the Trojan men’s and women’s swimming, diving and water polo teams.

“The USC community takes such profound pride in its student-athletes, and Mr. Uytengsu’s gift sends a strong message of support,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “Thanks to his extraordinary generosity, the university will create world-class facilities for our world-class athletes.”

At Uytengsu’s request, the center’s swimming pool will be named for his swim coach, Peter Daland, honoring Daland’s legendary contributions to USC’s aquatics program. Daland guided the Trojans from 1958 to 1992, winning nine national titles and 17 conference crowns.

“We are extremely grateful for this transformative gift from Fred Uytengsu and his family,” said Pat Haden, inaugural holder of USC’s Charles Griffin Cale Director of Athletics’ Chair and director of athletics. “It signifies their tremendous commitment to take our aquatics facilities – in which 20 national championships have been won – to the next level. The gift will also greatly enhance the experience of our swimming, diving and water polo student-athletes.”

The Uytengsu Aquatics Center will provide a state-of-the-art aquatics facility, including a new diving dry-land training area; a new dive tower; new men’s and women’s swimming, diving and water polo locker and team rooms; new coaches’ offices for swimming and diving; a multipurpose room to support activities in the facility; a new scoreboard with video capabilities; and a stadium that will seat up to 2,500 people and includes a shade structure and a new entry on McClintock Avenue.

“Fred’s gift is one purely of the heart. I have never met a man with such humility and integrity. He epitomizes what it means to be a USC graduate, with a true Trojan spirit,” said USC sixth-year head coach Dave Salo. “This lasting gift is not only a tribute to Fred’s generosity and love for his alma mater but also a great acknowledgment of the man who made USC swimming and diving what it is today – Peter Daland.”

He continued: “Fred’s gift will have an impact beyond brick and mortar. The design of the new facility will make the spectator experience so much more enjoyable, and USC student-athletes of today and tomorrow will have greater access to their coaches and trainers, and the unique opportunity to train in a world-class facility.”

Uytengsu graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the USC Marshall School of Business’ Entrepreneurship program in 1983. A freshman walk-on swimmer, by his senior year, Uytengsu was captain of USC’s swim team.

“I look back at my learnings and experiences at USC with fond memories and realize how many life lessons came from my education there,” Uytengsu said. “Without a doubt, swimming at USC – and for Coach Daland – was a great opportunity. And I am now pleased to be able to give back and support the university’s goal of upgrading facilities.

“It is my hope that future Trojan swimmers, divers and water polo players will benefit from the new Uytengsu Aquatics Center and help keep these programs among the best in the U.S. I am also pleased to be able to name the pool after Peter Daland, who deserves to be recognized not just for his nine NCAA Championships but also for the profound impact he had on all of the swimmers he coached over his 35 seasons as head coach of USC men’s swimming. Indeed the future is bright. Fight On!”

Uytengsu is president and CEO of Alaska Milk Corp., the leading publicly listed consumer foods company in the Philippines. The company, which engages in the manufacture, distribution and sale of liquid, powdered and ultra-heat treated milk products in the Philippines, was founded by Uytengsu’s late father, Wilfred Sr., in 1972, and is based in Makati City.

The Uytengsu family also owns the Alaska Aces, a professional basketball team that has won 13 Philippine Basketball Association championships since joining the association in 1986. In addition, Fred Uytengsu, a triathlete, is credited with bringing the Ironman and XTERRA races to the Philippines.

Uytengsu is married to Kerri (Dunn) Uytengsu ’84, and the couple has three children. Their eldest daughter, Ashton, graduated from USC Marshall in 2009.

Read more about Fred Uytengsu.

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