building under construction

$5 Million Gift Means Next-Level Competitive Advantage for Saints Division III Athletics


St. Lawrence University has received a $5 million lead gift from George W. Karpus ’68 toward the second phase of the Appleton Arena renovation and expansion project. The gift will support an expansion of the Michael “Buddy” Cornacchia ’74 Strength and Conditioning Center for all of the Saints’ NCAA Division III student-athletes, as well as locker room and team facilities for the men and women’s lacrosse, field hockey, softball, and men and women’s rowing teams. 

 “As a former Saints football player, as well as shot and discus thrower for track and field, I understand the value of Division III athletics in developing leadership and collaborative skills,” says Karpus. “Those skills have been instrumental in my 38-year career as an entrepreneur and business owner, and I am forever grateful to St. Lawrence.” 

 The completion of the George W. Karpus ’68 Athletic Center at Appleton Arena will also positively impact the entire campus community. The University will revamp the current strength and conditioning space for student-athletes in the Stafford Fitness Center, allowing students, faculty, and staff access to a larger area. 

Karpus Investment Management, a successful investment advisory firm, was founded by Karpus in 1986. He has been a generous donor to the St. Lawrence Fund, and in 2006, he established the George W. Karpus ’68 Expendable Scholarship Fund. He is also a member of the Laurentian Leadership Society and the G. Atwood Manley Society.

“This extraordinary investment in St. Lawrence Athletics demonstrates George’s lifelong commitment to the values of his alma mater,” says President William L. Fox ’75. “Derived from his own time on campus, we are deeply grateful for his vision to ensure the most positive experience in the lives of future student-athletes using our magnificent facilities.”

The University has worked with global design firm HOK, one of the premier architectural companies for designing sports venues in North America, during the past three years. Plans and construction drawings were completed in 2018 and project costs are being updated. Fundraising will continue and, once completed, construction will begin with a target date of spring 2022.

Historic Appleton Arena is also home to the Saints’ NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey programs and was renovated in 2020: The University dedicated the new state-of-the-art facilities on February 8, 2020.