Temple Magazine

One for the Team

Donald, SBM ’59, and Nancy Resnick jump-start funding for the Pearson-McGonigle renovation.

Story by Maria Raha
Photo by Joseph V. Labolito

When Donald Resnick, SBM ’59, was a freshman studying business administration at Temple in 1955, the men’s basketball team finished their season by competing in the NCAA Final Four Championship. (They lost to Iowa.) In addition, he was an Owls halfback in 1956 and 1957, played freshman football and spent a year on the wrestling team. Resnick’s loyalty to the Cherry and White endures. “Temple’s athletic program played a great part in helping shape my life,” he says.

When he graduated, Donald began a 40-year career in real estate that eventually led him to found D.J. Resnick Co., a real estate brokerage and finance company, in 1972, and then, in 1980, Acorn Development Corp. As Acorn’s president and partner, Donald oversaw 1.5 million square feet of suburban office buildings. After selling its portfolio in 1997, Acorn focused solely on asset and property management for third-party owners.

His wife, Nancy, attended Temple as a psychology major 10 years after Donald did, and subsequently worked as a teacher of students with learning disabilities before staying at home to raise their two children.

But Temple was never far from the couple’s minds. And in spring 2010, they stepped forward to significantly bolster the athletics program they have always taken pride in. When Temple Athletics set about renovating Pearson and McGonigle halls to upgrade the space—which includes new regulation-size men’s and women’s basketball courts that are open around the clock—the Resnicks made a $1.5 million gift to name the men’s court, which will be known as the Donald and Nancy Resnick Court.

Additionally, their gift will support the Student-Athlete Academic Advising and Success Center, which will be called the Nancy and Donald Resnick Academic Support Center. “The educational element is just as important, if not more important, than playing sports,” Nancy says. “We all know that only a few Owls will become professional athletes.”

Their gift to Pearson-McGonigle reflects the Resnicks’ personal passions. Not only does the couple follow the basketball team, but they also are committed to community service. For example, Nancy serves on the American Cancer Society Women’s Board and says that though her children are now adults, she still encourages them to perform volunteer work.

Resnick football picture

Donald Resnick, SBM ‘59 (kneeling, center), was a halfback for the Owls in 1956 and 1957. He also played freshman football in 1955.

Resnicks and Dunphy at beam ceremony

Nancy and Donald, SBM ‘59, Resnick and Temple Basketball Head Coach
Fran Dunphy (right) add their signatures to a beam that will be used in the construction of the new basketball practice facility in Pearson and McGonigle halls.

Donald’s ties to Temple Basketball go beyond his interest insports. After all, it was when he was a member of the national board of Coaches vs. Cancer—a collaboration between the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the American Cancer Society that fundraises for cancer awareness, education and research—that he met Temple Men’s Basketball Head Coach Fran Dunphy, then with the University of Pennsylvania, approximately 15 years ago. Their leadership in the organization sparked a longtime friendship.

When Dunphy joined Temple in 2006, Donald hurried to campus to find out what the new coach needed to continue the momentum of the program. “He said, ‘I need a practice facility,’ ” Donald recalls. “At that point, I said to him, ‘We’re going to help you get it.’ ” Four years later, the nearly 6,000-square-foot practice facility is about to come to fruition. Built atop the current structure, it will feature separate men’s and women’s practice courts, locker rooms, recruiting lounges, coaches’ offices, a film-study area, a sports medicine center and a weight room. The facility will open in fall 2011.

The renovation is part of Temple 20/20, the framework that will guide the university’s growth over the next 10 years.

“In order for Temple to successfully compete and recruit players at the Division 1 level, a practice facility is much needed. Thanks to President Ann Weaver Hart and her vision, it is becoming a reality,” Donald says. The enhanced athletics and recreation facilities will help Temple to continue to attract high-performing, disciplined student-athletes.

Dunphy says, “The university and basketball family is very humbled by the support Donald and Nancy have shown our program. Their gift represents both faith in the university and enthusiasm for Temple basketball.”

Donald also serves as co-chair of the Pearson-McGonigle fundraising campaign with Aaron McKie, SSW ’02, assistant coach of the Philadelphia 76ers and one of the numerous NBA athletes Temple’s basketball program has produced.

“Temple has a rich basketball tradition comprising legendary coaches, players, fans
and victories,” says Temple Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw. “This practice facility will honor the hard work and determination of those who have made our university great. It represents a renewed commitment to elevate both our men’s and women’s basketball programs to a new era of excellence.”

When the Resnicks talk about the university, they repeatedly return to the idea of giving back. “Temple did a lot for both of us, and we always like to help when it will make a difference in people’s lives,” Nancy says.

Donald adds that both he and Nancy deeply value their involvement in the Temple community. “We’ve had so much enjoyment over the past 25 years with the basketball program; it has become part of our lives. It feels good to do something for Temple that is enduring and meaningful.”

To make a gift to Temple, contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 215-926-2500 or giving@temple.edu, or visit myowlspace.com/makeagift.

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