GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG women’s basketball has received a historic gift from long-time Spartan Club member and 1957 Woman’s College graduate Jo Safrit. Safrit has made a lead gift of $100,000 toward the renovation of the UNCG Women’s Basketball locker room. This is the first-ever gift to name a significant renovation or construction project for UNCG Athletics.
Located in the Coleman Building, the updated facility will be named the Jo Safrit Women’s Basketball Locker Room. The renovation will create a spacious, technologically updated multi-purpose area that will be conducive to teaching and learning. The lockers will be widened, and additions include an enhanced nutrition station and updated graphics.
“Basketball is a game changer for women as well as men, and it changed my life,” Safrit said. “The impact of my coach and former teammates and the time we spent together, continues to this day. I hope this newly renovated locker room space will provide an environment for current and future generations of women’s basketball players to develop meaningful lifelong relationships.”
While Safrit’s gift is the lead commitment to the locker room renovation, there is still opportunity for donors to support the project. In addition to Safrit’s gift, $55,000 has been raised through a locker naming program. Lockers can be named with a gift of $5,000 and are available to UNCG Women’s Basketball alumnae and others who have had a connection to the program (coaches, administrators, team managers, etc.). Only five of 16 lockers remain available for naming and locker gifts can be spread over two years. In addition, anyone who makes a gift of any size to the renovation prior to June 30, 2018, will be recognized in a 2018-19 UNCG Women’s Basketball game program. To make a gift, click on the link above or call the Spartan Club at (336) 334-3576.
“We are incredibly grateful to Jo Safrit for this monumental gift to our women’s basketball program,” said Trina Patterson, UNCG Women’s Basketball head coach. “This facility will greatly enhance the day-to-day experience of our current student-athletes and assure potential athletes of our school’s commitment to excellence. It will immediately impact our recruiting in a positive way.”
A native of Salisbury, North Carolina, Safrit majored in physical education at Woman’s College. After retiring from a long and distinguished career as a professor and researcher of kinesiology, Safrit returned to Greensboro and became one of UNCG’s most dedicated supporters. Having been a basketball player in high school, Safrit has a particular passion for women’s basketball at UNCG. Safrit created the Mildred Curlee Cooper Scholarship for Women’s Basketball in honor of her high school basketball coach, and with her late partner, Dr. Catherine Ennis ’77 MS, established the Safrit-Ennis Women’s Basketball Athletic Scholarship Fund. Safrit was also instrumental in the foundation of the Game Changers, a group dedicated to growing support for UNCG Women’s Basketball.