By Samantha Phillips
Don Constantini, the founder of Falcon Transport and Comprehensive Logistics Co, donated $1 million on Tuesday to build spaces for Youngstown State University’s communications students and a home for the new sports broadcasting program.
The Don Constantini Multimedia Center and Constantini Classroom will be constructed in Stambaugh Stadium in the future.
President Jim Tressel said that the money will play a big part in changing the way communications studies will be presented to students.
“Each and every student gets the opportunity to learn communications…no matter what they’re major is going to be,” Tressel said. “We have always felt it was an important part of the curriculum…right now many of the communication classes are in the basement of the library, not in the most extraordinary of facilities.”
Constantini said having adequate facilities is important in recruiting students, and he is honored to support YSU in a time of transition.
“My gift is somewhat unique as it will benefit both academics and athletics. It will provide a classroom… communications course that’s a required course,” Constantini said. “It will serve as a studio lab for sports broadcasting news. It will expand gameday functions and enhance stambaugh stadium.”
Adam Earnheardt, chair of the communications department, said that the YSU Sports Broadcasting program has been operating for a few years, but they needed a newer facility to support it. The new spaces will house classrooms ranging from broadcast sports to sports media production.
Bo Pelini, YSU’s head football coach, said he has been impressed by the generosity of people like Constantini.
“[Becsause of donations] we can continue to move forward on all our programs, both athletically and academically, and serve the student athletes at Youngstown State,” said Pelini. “Thanks Don, I look forward to hopefully a lot of years together and winning football games.”
Lincoln Williams, a telecommunication studies major, said he hopes to see more student involvement as a result of having the YSU Sports Broadcasting program and media center.
“Everything comes with time, and I think we’re at the right pace to get there,” Williams said.
Ron Strollo, executive director of intercollegiate athletics, said the new media center will greatly enhance the experience of students who are apart of the sports broadcasting program.
“If we make the playoffs and ESPN comes in [the new facility], they have a more appropriate place to be, which makes us a little more friendlier for them to select us for their TV games,” Strollo said, “[It] brings a lot of good publicity for the university.”
Other contributions to the university by Constantini include a $150,000 donation to the YSU Foundation for a scholarship to be awarded to a football student athlete majoring in business, $150,000 toward the construction of the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center, and $200,000 toward the construction of the Williamson College of Business Administration building.
He was honored as YSU Penguin of the Year in 2014 and an Outstanding Business Alumnus by the Williamson College of Business Administration in 2005.