Wednesday proved to be an absolutely phenomenal day for not just the University of Illinois, but Fighting Illini athletics as a whole.

The H.D. Smith Foundation, led by Dale and Chris Smith, announced a $20 million donation to the University of Illinois Foundation. Of the $20 million, $15 million will be going toward the Fighting Illini Football Performance Center.

With that, the center will be named the Henry Dale and Betty Smith Football Center. The $20 million donation is the largest in the history of the DIA.

Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman spoke on the extremely generous gift:

“To say a simple ‘thank you’ for such an extraordinary gift fails to do justice to the generous investment the Smiths have chosen to make in Illinois Athletics and, specifically, our football program,” Whitman said. “It has been my privilege getting to know Dale and Chris since my arrival on campus. For years they have been loyal to the University and supportive of our bold vision for this department. Their investment today will dramatically change our program, and the coming success of the Fighting Illini will be forever tied to them.”

Aside from the $15 million going to the performance center, $3 million is being set for scholarship opportunities for former student-athletes to return to school and complete their degree. The other $2 million is being used toward the Illinois Carle College of Medicine with the intersection of medicine, engineering and athletics in mind.

A press conference on Wednesday afternoon is being held at 2:30 p.m. regarding the donation: