James C. Metzger has been known for his generosity and sticking close to his roots in the Half Hollow Hills and Hofstra communities.
Already a donor to the Hofstra Athletics Department, Metzger upped his game this week, donating $1.5 million, the largest gift in athletic program history.
Metzger, who graduated from Half Hollow Hills in 1977 and from Hofstra in 1983, was an All-American lacrosse player for the Flying Dutchmen and currently serves on the university’s Pride Club board of directors.
According to the university, his contribution will establish a men’s lacrosse program endowment as well as support the capital improvement fund, which benefits all 17 sports.
“I am both fortunate and elated to make this pledge to my alma mater,” Metzger said. “I certainly appreciate the way in which Hofstra has strengthened its brand academically and in its athletic programs. It is a first-class academic institution with first-class athletics.
“I am thrilled my gift will have a significant impact at the university and I hope this commitment speaks to my total support of Hofstra. I am proud to be associated with Hofstra University and I am proud to be a leader in terms of supporting the institution.”
Metzger is Chairman, CEO and founder of The Whitmore Group, an insurance brokerage and financial services firm in Garden City, N.Y.
Metzger has contributed funds to renovate the men’s and women’s lacrosse locker rooms and to make possible the Traditions Project – a history of the men and women’s lacrosse and football programs.
“Jim’s generosity to Hofstra Athletics in recent years has helped to elevate the men and women’s lacrosse programs to an elite level,” said Hofstra Director of Athletics Jack Hayes, in a statement. “This most recent and generous gift will provide long term support for the program he represented as a student-athlete as well as fund important facility projects and improvements that will directly impact all of our student-athletes.”
On the academic side of campus Metzger has endowed a summer internship program within the Center for Civic Engagement in honor of his history professor, current faculty member, Michael D’Innocenzo.
“Jim Metzger’s leadership and commitment to Hofstra Athletics has always been evident and will help guarantee that our student-athletes, in all 17 sports, will be able to train, compete and succeed at the highest levels," said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz, in a statement. "On behalf of the entire University community, I thank Jim for his generous support and I trust that his gift will prove to be a catalyst for more alumni and friends to make gifts in his spirit.”
In recent years Metzger, who was an All-American lacrosse player at Hills, has supported the athletic program at Half Hollow Hills, helping to create the James C. Metzger Outstanding Player Award given annually to a deserving Hills East lacrosse player.