Education

Constantini Gives YSU $1M to Build Media Center

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – By the fall of 2017, the east side of Youngstown State University’s Stambaugh Stadium will be dominated by a new multimedia center that stands to elevate students academic potential as well as enhancing coverage of YSU Penguin football.

Longtime YSU benefactor Don Constantini, owner of Falcon Transportation and Comprehensive Logistics, presented YSU with a $1 million gift toward construction of the new addition, to be named the Don Constantini Multimedia Center.

“We wanted to do something that impacted both the academic side and the athletics side,” Constantini said after officials announced the gift at a news conference at Stambaugh Stadium’s Dwight Beede Field. “We decided this would be a good fit and a way for me to give back to the university.”

The new center will include classrooms and laboratories for YSU’s Department of Communications and host game day activities for all Stambaugh Stadium events. The center will also add space for YSU’s sports broadcasting program and the new Constantini Classroom, which would host students enrolled in introductory communication classes.

“It’s going to be multi-faceted,” Constantini said. “There will be classrooms, a lab for sports broadcasting majors. And also, it’ll provide various features such as instant replay, radio play and YSU radio.”

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Adam Earnheardt, chairman of YSU’s Department of Communications, told guests that students in the communications department have already forged a strong relationship with the athletics department that includes a sports broadcasting curriculum.

However, the university needed the proper facilities in order to support a comprehensive sports broadcasting program, he added. “Thanks to the generosity and vision of Mr. Constantini, we’re now at the next level of sports broadcasting programs in the state,” he told attendees. “We’re now on the same playing field as other universities who have sports broadcasting programs.”

He said the new center would incorporate all facets of sports broadcasting, such as producing and writing, media production, as well as introductory courses in media and journalism, Earnheardt noted. “You’re going to see students in there five days a week,” he emphasized.

“We bring in top notch professional faculty from around the region to teach our students. These sports broadcasting faculty have worked for networks like ESPN, Fox Sports, the Gold Channel and Sports Time Ohio. Now we’ll have a facility that matches the needs of the professionals teaching in our program,” Earnheardt added.

YSU President Jim Tressel thanked Constantini for his generous support over the years. “This gift represents a partnership between academics and athletics and, we believe, will result in improved performance both in the classroom and on the playing field.”

This is the latest is a series of gifts that Constantini has made to YSU. He also donated $150,000 to the YSU Foundation to endow a scholarship to a football student-athlete majoring in business, $150,000 toward the construction of the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center, and $200,000 toward the construction of the Williamson College of Business Administration building.

In 2005, Constantini was recognized as the Outstanding Business Alumnus by the Williamson College of Business Administration, and in 2014 he was honored as YSU Penguin of the Year. He is a member of the YSU President’s Council, the YSU Foundation Board of Trustees and the Williamson College of Business Administration Advisory Council. He has maintained a loge in Stambaugh Stadium for more than 25 years. He also has served on local boards of Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, the Penguin Club and various positions in the American Trucking Association.

Constantini is the father of two sons, Mark and Brad. After graduating from Baldwin-Wallace College, both sons joined the family enterprise. He also has three grandchildren –  Emma, Kate and Brad II. Don and Diana D’Alesio, his significant other of 20 years, live in Canfield and have a condo in Palm Beach, Fla.

While a student at YSU, Constantini was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and also was treasurer of Student Council. He was on the Honor Roll, Dean’s List, active with intramural and interfraternity sports, and received the Dean John P. Gillespie Award for having the highest grade-point average of any fraternity member.

Echoing Tressel was YSU Penguin football coach Bo Pellini, who credited Constantini and others for their continued support for YSU.

“We cannot fulfill our mission here at the university without your continued help, without your support,” he said. “As long as we work together as a team in this community, as we continue to help each other and work together and get things done, we continue to make this university great.”

Pictured: Don Constantini; rendering of Don Constantini Multimedia Center.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.