$300,000 gift from Elmhurst University alum to benefit athletic department
Elmhurst University alumnus, physician and entrepreneur Aaron Rossi has given the University a $300,000 gift to fund a new video scoreboard and benefit the men's soccer team.
As an Elmhurst student, Rossi was an original member of the Men's Soccer program, which was established by Head Coach David DiTomasso in 2004.
Rossi received multiple awards at Elmhurst and graduated in 2006. He has since been inducted into Elmhurst University's Men's Soccer Hall of Fame.
Rossi made the donation and gift to show his appreciation for DiTomasso and the coach's impact on Rossi's career and life goals.
While attending Elmhurst, Rossi was a biology/pre-med major, a captain on the men's soccer team and an intern at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
Participating in multiple activities provided him with structure and discipline, two qualities that would be a catalyst to his achievements as an entrepreneur, he said.
As the CEO of Reditus Laboratories and other medical-related businesses in central Illinois, Rossi and his companies have been widely recognized for their innovative work and extensive assistance to the state of Illinois during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I am honored to be able to give back to the University that gave me so much and helped give me the discipline and drive go after my dreams," Rossi said.
"We're thrilled to accept this exciting gift from Dr. Rossi," said Elmhurst University President Troy D. VanAken. "It speaks volumes not only about the powerful relationships Coach DiTomasso forges with his players, but also about how our students' experiences at Elmhurst can influence and inspire them after they graduate."
Coach DiTomasso said, "Relationships are the foundation for all successful people, and Dr. Rossi truly cares about the success of our student athletes on an off the field. As a founding member of the Men's Soccer program at Elmhurst, he led the team in every way possible, from mentoring young players to eventually becoming a captain. He and I have established a friendship that goes well beyond player/coach levels."
The new video scoreboard is scheduled to be installed at Langhorst Field in 2022, when other major renovations to Langhorst are completed.
"Dr. Rossi's specific monetary gift to men's soccer will impact our program now and in years to come, and the addition of the Rossi Family Scoreboard to Langhorst Field will be huge for the campus community as a whole," DiTomasso said. "It will allow us to showcase our teams more effectively, generate new revenue streams, and bring a more exciting atmosphere to live events. I am truly grateful for his continued support."
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last spring, Rossi transformed his companies to meet critical needs caused by the crisis.
PAL Health Technologies, an orthotics manufacturer in Pekin, Ill., began producing face shields for medical personnel. Reditus Laboratories, a Pekin-based pathology lab, pivoted to processing COVID-19 tests in partnership with the state of Illinois.
This past June, Pekin Mayor and state Rep. Mark Luft (R-Pekin) recognized Rossi and Reditus Laboratories for their hard work, noting that the laboratory remains a critical part of local efforts to fight the pandemic.
Elmhurst University is a leading four-year institution of higher education that seamlessly blends liberal learning and professional preparation to help students reach their full potential. Founded in 1871, Elmhurst now offers more than 70 undergraduate programs of study, more than 20 graduate and certificate programs in flexible formats, and the Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy for young adults with differing abilities. Elmhurst University, formerly Elmhurst College, is among the top-ranked colleges and universities in the Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report.