Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fidelity Chair Giving $15M to West Point; Donation from Foley, a 1967 Graduate of the Academy, Will Pay for Construction of Indoor Athletic Training Facility

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fidelity Chair Giving $15M to West Point; Donation from Foley, a 1967 Graduate of the Academy, Will Pay for Construction of Indoor Athletic Training Facility

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRISTOPHER CALNAN

Fidelity National Financial Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Foley plans to donate $15 million to the U.S. Military Academy, the largest financial contribution in West Point's 200-year history.

The donation from Foley, a 1967 graduate of West Point, will pay for the construction of an indoor athletic training facility at the academy.

"I really feel West Point helped take some raw assets and talent I had and honed them," he said Tuesday. "Really, West Point made me what I am today."

Bob Lenz, Foley's classmate and West Point's director of class and annual giving, said he first proposed the donation to Foley when the Jacksonville CEO visited West Point last month. Foley agreed to the donation two weeks ago after further discussions with Lenz at Foley's vacation house in Montana, Lenz said.

The $15 million will cover the cost of a new indoor practice field that will take a year to build and used for several sports, including football.

"Bill and Carol Foley have stepped forward to do something only a few could do," West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. William Lennox Jr. said in a news release. "Their love and respect for the academy are demonstrated by this remarkably generous gift. Generations of cadets will benefit from this tremendous facility."

Foley and Fidelity National relocated from Santa Barbara, Calif., to Jacksonville in 2003 after acquiring Jacksonville-based Alltel Corp.'s information services division. Fidelity National, a Fortune 500 company, is the nation's largest title and real estate-related services company.

Lenz said the commitment by Foley allows the academy to begin construction of the practice facility with a line of credit that Foley will then pay off over the next four years.

Foley's donation surpasses West Point's previous record contribution, made earlier this year by another Florida businessman, Lee Anderson, for construction of a rugby training facility, Lenz said. He declined to reveal the amount of Anderson's contribution.

Last year, Foley received the biggest financial package of any Jacksonville executive. His salary and bonus increased 23 percent from the previous year to almost $5. …

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