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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thorntons Academic Center of Excellence is welcoming students at the University of Louisville as a new school year begins.
The student-athlete center is located beneath the Norton Terrace at the south end of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
"It may be the finest facility that we've built and certainly one of the most important projects we've taken on during my time at Louisville," said Tom Jurich, vice president and director of athletics. "It's a student-first building that touches all 23 of our sports programs.
"We sincerely appreciate the generosity of many people that invested in the future of so many student-athletes' lives to create probably the finest academic center in the nation. I want to particularly thank Matt Thornton, his family and his company for taking the lead on making all of this possible," he added.
The Thorntons Academic Center of Excellence houses academic operations and provides a central location for all student-athletes and academic staff.
The more than 40,000-square-foot center features tutorial areas, a high-performance training table to feed the student-athletes, computer laboratories, and office and classroom space that will serve more than 750 student-athletes across the university's 23 sports.
In addition, an artistic video wall greets visitors upon entry in the Republic Bank Atrium and segmented spaces throughout the facility are numerous. The 204-seat auditorium is equipped with an 18.5 feet by 10.5 feet screen and projection system.
Thorntons Inc. made the lead $3-million gift for the center, and in conjunction with University of Louisville Cardinals' fans, helped raise approximately $6 million for their matching gift. A total of $2.5 million was raised through the partnership with the brand of Maker's Mark, while law firm Stites and Harbison committed $2 million to the project.
Work on the $18.5-million facility began in May 2015.
Based in Louisville, Thorntons currently operates 183 convenience stores in six states: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida.