Bold Gift Fuels Future of Vanderbilt Basketball

$20 million matching gift supercharges basketball practice facility, seeks to inspire alumni to lead Vandy United’s Dare to Grow phase

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vanderbilt today announced a $20 million gift to help reimagine the future of men’s and women’s basketball. An anonymous alumnus will match qualifying gifts and pledges from alumni, up to $20 million, to support the basketball operations center and practice facility.

One of Vandy United’s original cornerstone initiatives, the new basketball facility will open later this fall.

“I’m grateful for this generous gift supporting a best-in-class facility that has gone from the drawing board to groundbreaking to soon opening its doors to our student-athletes,” said Candice Storey Lee, vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletic director. “Vandy United and the Dare to Grow campaign are about what we can accomplish, together. Games and seasons end, but our bonds as Vanderbilt alumni are lifelong. Our student-athletes play for each other because they are part of a larger community where people challenge and support each other every day. By also bringing together former student-athletes and alumni through a matching gift to support Vandy United, this far-reaching pledge embodies teamwork in action.”

As part of Vandy United’s Dare to Grow phase, the donor will match select gifts to all Vandy United initiatives in a new giving opportunity for former student-athletes and select alumni to support future generations of Commodores. This matching gift initiative is extended to all former Vanderbilt student-athletes and any alumni celebrating a special Reunion in 2024. This year, the university recognizes the classes of 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019.

“We are deeply thankful for the generosity of our anonymous donor and for this special opportunity for other alumni to support our vision for the future of Vanderbilt Athletics,” Vanderbilt Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “College athletics have the unique and profound potential to bring communities together and inspire lifelong learning and growth. Whether Commodores are competing in the SEC, collaborating in our classrooms and labs or leading in the boardrooms of tomorrow, we know we create more impact and realize exponentially more of our potential by working together.”

A hub of the Frist Athletics Village, the basketball operations center and practice facility is adjacent to the north end zone of FirstBank Stadium with convenient access to historic Memorial Gym. The new building contains two practice gyms encompassing more than 90,000 square feet, dedicated student-athlete locker rooms and lounges and an industry-leading weight room and athletic training space.

“The operations center and practice facility made it clear to me that Vanderbilt is committed to competing at a championship level,” men’s basketball head coach Mark Byington said. “From world-class academics to SEC competition to everything Nashville offers, Vanderbilt is the best of the best. This facility lives up to that standard. Thanks to this generous donor, it’s going to be a big part of unlocking this program’s untapped potential and building something this community can be excited to support.”

Construction of the facility, which was designed by Populous, began with a groundbreaking in February 2023. Last November, placement of the final steel beam completed the building’s frame.

In the coming year, as Vanderbilt’s men’s and women’s basketball programs begin their 124th and 47th seasons, respectively, student-athletes will take their first steps in the new facility.

“I’m tremendously grateful for this supporter’s generosity and excited to see our community rise to the challenge offered,” women’s basketball head coach Shea Ralph said. “Memorial Gymnasium at full roar is an unsurpassed home-court advantage on game day, and the operations center and practice facility will provide an invaluable at-home advantage every day for our student-athletes, coaches and staff. This will be a home where our basketball family can grow and thrive for years to come.”

For more information on Vandy United, including the basketball operations center and practice facility, please visit Former student-athletes or any alumni from the classes of 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019 interested in participating in the match by supporting any Vandy United initiative are invited to contact Mark Carter and the National Commodore Club staff at 615-322-4114 or

As ever, all Vanderbilt supporters are welcome and encouraged to contribute to Vandy United, but only gifts from former Vanderbilt student-athletes or alumni celebrating a Reunion in 2024 will be matched.

About the Dare to Grow Campaign

Dare to Grow is a $3.2 billion giving campaign to drive bold new levels of growth in support of our most ambitious vision—to be the great university of the 21st century. The campaign will succeed through three essential pathways—Destination Vanderbilt, Discovery Vanderbilt and One Vanderbilt—and by furthering the culture of belonging, innovation and collaboration that defines the Vanderbilt Way. Learn more at