Drew University Announces Largest Endowment Gift to Athletics in School History

Doug C’58 and Cris Lonnstrom pledge a major planned gift to Drew Baseball 

MADISON, NJ – October 13, 2023 – Drew University has announced a seven-figure planned gift from Doug (C’58) and Cris Lonnstrom to Drew Athletics. This generous gift – the largest endowed gift to Athletics in Drew’s history – will support the Rangers baseball program and generations of student-athletes in perpetuity. In recognition of this generous gift, the Drew baseball stadium featuring Doc Young Field will be named in honor of the Lonnstroms.

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Doug C’58 And Cris Lonnstrom
Doug C’58 and Cris Lonnstrom were presented with the Golden D Award during 2023 Ranger Weekend.

“This leadership gift to our Athletics Department will have an enduring impact on the University, and we are grateful to Doug and Cris Lonnstrom for their generosity, thoughtfulness and foresight,” said President Hilary L. Link, PhD. “The impact that playing baseball at Drew had on Doug manifests itself today with this wonderful gift, which will allow future student-athletes to have those same transformative experiences.” 

“As we celebrated Doug’s 65th reunion, we reminisced about the tremendous impact Drew had on our lives,” advised Doug and Cris Lonnstrom in a joint statement. “Drew set me on my path to a wonderful profession and full life, which was heavily influenced by my experience with the baseball team. As educators, we feel strongly about the importance of Drew in shaping the lives of young adults and providing an excellent college experience and want the University to be a major part of our legacy and philanthropic commitment.” 

The couple has had a lifelong professional commitment to education — Doug at the college level and Cris as a special education elementary school teacher. 

Doug Lonnstrom earned a bachelor’s degree in math and played baseball for Drew University for four years, serving as team captain during his final two. Upon graduation, he was offered minor league contracts by the Giants and Red Sox. Lonnstrom worked at an economic consulting firm as a mathematician, and simultaneously earned an MBA in economics from Siena College in an evening program. Later he earned a PhD in urban and environmental studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He started a land development business before turning to academia for the rest of his career, teaching at Siena College for 47 years, where he was a professor within the Business School. Within that time he also served as Dean of the Business School, Head of the Quantitative Business Department, and co-founded the Siena College Research Institute. 

“This generous commitment from the Lonnstroms will not only strengthen our baseball program, but also provide invaluable support to our student-athletes, enhancing their collegiate experience and empowering them to achieve great success both on the field and in the classroom,” added Director of Athletics and Head Women’s Soccer Coach Christa Racine.

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