Anderson University has dedicated the concourse of the Kardatzke Wellness Center as the Ruth Lilly Pavilion. The naming and dedication honored a gift of $2 million that Anderson University received in the fall of 2003 from Indianapolis philanthropist Ruth Lilly. The charitable funding represented the final piece of capital resources needed for the 132,000 square-foot Kardatzke Wellness Center located on the northeast end of the 120-acre university campus.
“Ruth Lilly has made it her lifetime quest to contribute to the quality of life of communities,” said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. “We are so grateful that Anderson University is among those educational institutions that can extend the values of this remarkable person’s life.”
Born in 1915, Ruth Lilly is the last surviving great grandchild of Col. Eli Lilly, founder of the Eli Lilly and Co. pharmaceutical corporation, and has been one of Indiana's most generous philanthropists for decades. Her education recipients include many universities and K-12 schools across the state and country. In total, she has contributed more than $125 million to a wide range of causes, many related to education, medicine and the arts.
“We are delighted that Ruth Lilly found the Kardatzke Wellness Center complex worthy of such significant support,” said Bob Coffman, vice president for Advancement at Anderson University. “These funds enabled us to complete the final phases of the new facility and undertake renovation of the existing educational and programmatic spaces within the complex.”
The Kardatzke Wellness Center was formally dedicated in the fall of 2002. The new structure connects the existing O.C. Lewis Gymnasium and Bennett Natatorium at the northeast end of the campus and is designed to provide programming for health, recreation and wellness in all forms—spiritual, emotional, physical, and social. The facility is the largest building project in the university's 85-year history.
The state-of-the-art facility brings together the departments of Kinesiology, Athletic Training and Athletics. In addition, the center is focused on holistic approaches to health—specifically in the areas of recreation, evaluation, education and human performance. The Kardatzke Wellness Center includes approximately $600,000 of instructional athletic equipment addressing various areas of fitness and development.
The lower level of the Kardatzke Wellness Center features an open concourse and pavilion allowing main access to the facility from the north and the south. The largest portion of the structure is a multipurpose field house offering four regulation basketball courts that support the full range of educational instruction, a 200 meter regulation indoor running track, and access to Bennett Natatorium. The educational and wellness pavilion provides several meeting facilities and a variety of specialized areas for human performance, sports medicine therapy and rehabilitation.
Anderson University is a four-year, private, Christian liberal arts institution of approximately 2,700 undergraduates and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, nursing and theology.