NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)- Major upgrades are coming to the University of New Haven’s Charger Gymnasium. This is thanks to a $3 million gift from a former member of the university’s football team and 1983 grad, Jeffery P. Hazell.

“Jeff has long been a deeply devoted benefactor and loyal supporter of Charger Athletics and innovative programs that invest in the success of our students,” said President Steven H. Kaplan, Ph.D.

The gymnasium will be the home to the university’s men’s and women’s basketball, and women’s volleyball teams. The space will also be used to host large-scale university and community programs.

“Jeff’s transformational commitment will significantly expand and upgrade our athletics facilities, creating a multi-purpose center that provides our student-athletes with cutting-edge facilities and resources that enable them to excel and to continue competing at a championship level,” said Kaplan.

Students, staff, and spectators will be able to enjoy newly renovated locker rooms, increased seating, new viewing areas, additional team meeting space, coaches’ offices, and an upgraded lobby honoring past Charger greats and championship teams.

“I get great satisfaction being able to give back to my alma mater so that current students can have the same opportunities I had,” said Hazell, the owner of Boston Lobster Feast, a popular seafood chain in Florida. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the University of New Haven.”

University of New Haven athletics had a successful academic year by posting more than 150 wins across their 18 varsity sports, with more than 300 student-athletes being named to the Northeast-10 Academic Honor Roll.

Hazell’s $3 million commitment is the second seven-figure gift the university has received within the last month.

An in-person ceremony celebrating the vision for the Hazell Athletic Center is being planned on campus for the fall.

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