Skip to main content

MSU receives $3 million gift for Spartan Athletics

Mark and Cindy Pentecost supporting the men’s basketball program.

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Helping to continue the success of Michigan State University athletics, Mark and Cindy Pentecost have made a $3 million leadership gift that will support the men’s basketball program.

The donation, in support of Empower Extraordinary, the campaign for Michigan State, will be used to update the men’s basketball offices, practice facilities and establish an endowment for continued facility improvements.

“For many Spartans around the world, the men’s basketball program has been a source of pride and an engine of opportunity not only for the student-athletes in the program, but for the overall student experience on campus,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “We are so grateful to Mark and Cindy Pentecost for their vision and commitment to help us give ‘Team MSU’ the opportunity for continued excellence.”

Mark Pentecost is president and CEO of It Works! and is a former high school basketball coach and teacher in Allegan, Mich. The Pentecost’s are members of the Athletic Director’s Campaign Leadership Council, a group of more than 30 leaders and volunteers working with Spartan athletics in the Empower Extraordinary campaign.

Their gift is one of the largest ever to MSU athletics and is the third gift of $3 million or greater received by athletics since the public launch of Empower Extraordinary in October 2014. Athletics campaign goal is $262 million and is focused on championship level facilities, increasing its endowment and elevated annual giving. MSU athletics is now more than halfway to reaching its goal.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

“Growing up in the Lansing area, surrounded by generations of Spartans who bleed green, giving back to this storied basketball program came natural,” said Mark Pentecost. “As a former coach, I am excited to see the impact this contribution will have on our student-athletes. We hope that this helps them continue to train and compete at the highest level.”

Founded in 2001, It Works! is one of the world’s fastest-growing skin care and nutrition direct sales companies. Inc. magazine ranked It Works! No. 290 on its Inc. 500 list for 2014, and the company is enjoying a 1,565-percent growth over the past three years. It Works! currently pays commissions to more than 90,000 independent distributors in 19 countries.

“I want to thank Mark and Cindy and their family for their confidence and support of Spartan athletics,” said MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis. “The impact of their gift will be felt for generations. We already have the hardest working coaching staff in the country under Coach Izzo’s leadership and now they will have the necessary tools to continue to attract and develop the best and brightest student-athletes to Michigan State.”

Under Coach Izzo, the men’s basketball program has been to six Final Fours.

“Successful programs and successful campaigns both need great leadership. And Mark and Cindy are an extraordinary example of leaders within our campaign,” said Senior Associate AD for Development Chuck Sleeper. “Spartans around the globe are responding to the challenge of keeping our momentum going and it’s been great to see they recognize that private support helps make it possible.”

The Empower Extraordinary campaign is enabling MSU Athletics to build championship-level facilities, increase endowment support and elevate annual giving.

For more information on MSU Athletics and the Empower Extraordinary campaign go to