Land O’Lakes helps rewrite the playbook for Gopher student-athletes

Monday, January 22, 2018 - 9:30am

On January 16, U of M student-athletes began a new semester by walking through the doors of the newly-completed $166 million Athletes Village. A centerpiece of the five-building complex is the Land O’Lakes Center for Excellence.

​​A visionary Land O’Lakes investment: Thanks to $15 million in funding from Land O’Lakes, the new Land O’Lakes Center for Excellence houses a nutrition center, the Lindahl Academic Center, and a leadership center devoted to developing career and leadership skills, and fostering healthy lifestyles. This new facility will serve every current and future Gopher student-athlete. Learn more.

​​Transforming the student-athlete experience: The Land O’Lakes Center for Excellence will be a major asset in recruiting top-notch student-athletes whose achievements in the classroom and in competition will help to position them for success in the workforce.

“This underscores our commitment to educational excellence and further strengthens our investment in the pipeline of talent from the University of Minnesota,” said Land O’Lakes CEO Chris Policinski in 2014, when the $15 million investment was announced.

​​What’s next:  

  • Winter semester:  programming begins in the new Land O’Lakes Center for Excellence
  • February 2018:     recognition of major Athletes Village donors
  • Spring 2018:         public open house (date to be announced)

​​The impact of the Land O’Lakes investment:

“We are the highest-rated public school in the country with respect to student-athlete academic success. We have a graduation success rate of more than 92 percent. Our student-athletes are doing so many special things, and they’ve done them with limited resources. And now they can move into Athletes Village—the impact that’s going to have on our students is phenomenal.”

- Mark Coyle, Director of Athletics


​​“The Land O’Lakes Center for Excellence is absolutely the pinnacle of opportunity for growth and development.  It’s going to give every student athlete the chance to be the very best version of themselves.” ​

- ​Peyton Owens III, Associate Athletic Director, Student-Athlete Development


“The Lindahl Center and the Land O’Lakes Center for Excellence really provide the opportunities for  student-athletes to make sure their futures are set beyond athletics. I think that’s the highest priority.”

​- ​J.T. Bruett, Director, Lindahl Academic Center


“We’ve been fortunate that we’ve had a lot of great supporters who [shared] this vision. When you talk about Land O’Lakes…they had the vision to want the best. We want everyone who wears maroon and gold to go out and make Minnesota better. That’s the exciting part.”  

​- ​Quincy Lewis, Director of Student Development, Student-Athlete Development

​​Did you know?

  • The Land O’Lakes Center for Excellence has:

- Five floors

- 31,000+ square feet of nutrition, academic, and leadership/career development space

- Sweeping views of the U campus and downtown Minneapolis

- Services for every current and future Gopher student-athletes

  • Overall, the $166 million Athletes Village added more than 338,000 square feet of new building space to existing​ Gopher Athletics facilities. Learn more about Athletes Village
  • The U of M  is the highest-rated public school in the country with respect to student-athlete academic success.U of M student-athletes  have maintained a collective, cumulative G.P.A. of 3.2 or better for four consecutive years, finishing last spring with a department record of 3.24.