David Markin pledges $8 million
Recreation center to be named in his family’s honor
(right) is the only individual to twice receive the President’s Award for leadership, service, and philanthropic support. Shown with Bradley president Dr. David Broski, Markin is a Bradley Centurion and was the 1999 recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award. He served on the Bradley Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2004, and is now an honorary member. He first received the President’s Award in 1997.
David Markin ’53 agrees with Bradley founder Lydia Moss Bradley’s approach to philanthropy. Give now, while you’re here to see others benefit.
With that in mind, Markin has pledged more than $8 million toward a state-of-the-art student recreation center. “One of the great pleasures about being fairly successful is you can direct what you’re doing while you’re here,” says Markin.
As CEO of Checker Motors Co., Markin led his company through the 1980s, lean years in the automobile industry, by deciding to discontinue manufacturing taxi cabs and instead to do contract work for the Big Three automakers. That move, though questioned at the time, is now considered to be one of Markin’s wisest decisions. The success of his company not only saved jobs for hundreds of workers, it solidified the continued prosperity of the company.
Markin also is known as a generous benefactor on a national level and in his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The U.S. Tennis Association relied on his vision, leadership, and commitment to build the Arthur Ashe Stadium, home to the U.S. Open, in Flushing Meadows, New York, when he was president of USTA. The residents of Kalamazoo benefit from his gifts to the park district, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and Kalamazoo College for indoor tennis courts.
At Bradley, the David R. Markin Tennis Courts, dedicated in 1998, were named in honor of Markin’s generous support to the University. Now, the Markin Family Student Recreation Center will benefit thousands of students for years to come. The 130,000-square-foot center will be built between Glenwood and Maplewood Avenues, west of Cullom-Davis Library. The project will begin this spring.
As a national tennis leader, David Markin piloted the development and building of the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York, home to the U.S. Open.
Markin comments, “Raising money for beautiful facilities—not only for the students and athletes, but also for the faculty—is important to a winning atmosphere at a university like Bradley.”
He wants Bradley to always be a first choice among top students and says, “I wanted to leave the school better than I found it—a modern facility far surpassing expectations, a top-flight university.”
“My family is proud to be part of the new student recreation center, and I’m thrilled to be part of the process,” Markin adds. “It gives me infinite pleasure because of all my fond memories here.”
He encourages others to give as well: “A private school depends upon people like you and me—we all have some ability to help the school. We have to do it ourselves. If we want to continue to attract a higher grade of student, we have to offer facilities and a first-rate educational background. All of that—unfortunately, those pretty words—costs money. And we’re all in this together. We all want to see our school grow and prosper. We have to help it.”
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