Ex-'Cane Jonathan Vilma Donates $450,000 to UM Athletics
- Monday, August 01, 2011 1:52 PM
MIAMI, USA - On Tuesday, New Orleans Saints Liinebacker, Jonathan Vilma, presented his Alma Mater, the University of Miami (UM), a $450,000 donation that goes toward completing the funding for an athletic center.
The Theodore G. Schwartz and Todd G. Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence is set for construction beginning in December. In honor of Vilma's donation, UM will name the new players lounge in his honor.
â€śThis donation is about the future, itâ€™s about bringing the Hurricanes back on the horizon, bringing the Hurricanes back to dominance,â€ť Vilma said to a small crowd.
â€śI donâ€™t look at this like a gift, but rather embracing the future and moving forward. Just like the past, though, I do expect the same thing I had and that was developing players on and off the field. From business leaders to Super Bowl MVPs to leaders in the community to national championships. Itâ€™s our job as a Hurricane family that the current Canes that are sitting right here today reach their potential on and off the field. I want to be a part of that.â€ť
According to the Miami Herald , Vilma thanked his parents, Fritz Vilma and Nelly Banatte, who also were on hand for the ceremony.
â€śYou guys made me stand out and not fit in,â€ť he said. â€śYou guys taught me to do whatâ€™s right and not whatâ€™s popular. Most importantly, you taught me to be a man and not just an adult.â€ť
â€śThis donation is just as much our donation as it is mine.â€ť
Miami Hurricanes coach Al Golden, said â€śone of the things we talk about is gratitude and appreciation and I think this is the ultimate illustration of gratitude,â€ť Golden said. â€śAll you have to do is listen to his speech. If that doesnâ€™t move you or help you understand what it means to be a part of the University of Miami football program, I donâ€™t know what will. Thatâ€™s an amazing human being right there. Weâ€™re grateful to him and his parents and weâ€™re excited.â€ť
Vilma met with Golden before making the donation, but said former coach Randy Shannon, who was his defensive coordinator for three seasons at UM from 2001 to 2003, was his inspiration for it â€śWhen he became head coach, I wanted to support him as much as possible,â€ť Vilma said. â€śObviously, things didnâ€™t work out. But Iâ€™ve spoken with Al before and we have a great relationship.
â€śThis is something thatâ€™s right. Iâ€™m old enough now to understand what it is to be rich, what it is to be wealthy. You get that in many different ways. And this is one of the ways to give back.â€ť
Related 07.30.2011: NFL Rookie Marcell Dareus Done Cutting Grass, Signs Contract with Buffalo Bills
Related 06.24.2011: USF Bulls offensive lineman Danous Estenor lifts car to free trapped man
Related 06.11.2011: Vilma Keeping Saints Focused During NFL Lockout
Related 05.16.2011: Can Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul Develop into a Star?
Related 04.30.2011: Corey Liuget's Biggest Challenge, Losing His Father
Related 04.27.2011: NFL Draft | QB Chris Paul-Etienne Scrambles When Necessary
Source: Miami Herald