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Shields family makes gift to Notre Dame for new state-of-the-art athletics facility

A group of former University of Notre Dame football student-athletes led by linebacker Jack Shields is providing generous support for a new Fighting Irish football facility — one that, combined with the existing Guglielmino Athletics Complex (“Gug”), will accommodate the current and future needs of the University’s athletics programs.
Rendering of the new Jack and Kathy Shields Family Hall.
A rendering of the new Jack and Kathy Shields Family Hall.

A group of former University of Notre Dame football student-athletes led by linebacker Jack Shields is providing generous support for a new Fighting Irish football facility — one that, combined with the existing Guglielmino Athletics Complex (“Gug”), will accommodate the current and future needs of the University’s athletics programs.

The new Jack and Kathy Shields Family Hall will foster team building and personal growth, improve physical conditioning and technical ability, and enable Notre Dame Research to partner with Athletics in the study of human performance, sports science, medicine and nutrition.

Additional contributors to the facility include Pat and Jana Eilers, Dave and Clare Butler and other substantial donors who wish to remain anonymous. Pat Eilers is a former Notre Dame safety. Dave Butler played linebacker for the Irish.

Also recognized for their generous leadership and support are Pat Kramer, a former Notre Dame defensive lineman, and Tom Carter, a former Irish cornerback. Kramer and Carter are close friends of the Shieldses.

Together, these five former Notre Dame student-athletes are giving back to a program that has transformed their lives, wanting to extend that same opportunity to future generations.

The new facility will be located along Courtney Lane on the east side of campus and is set to open in the fall of 2026, allowing for future renovation of the Gug to advance the performance of student-athletes across Notre Dame’s 26 varsity sports.

The project will support as many as 150 construction jobs, contributing millions in wages and taxes to the local economy. It will support a number of permanent jobs in Athletics and other areas after construction.

“The Shields family’s remarkable gift, together with the support of many others, will enable us to greatly enhance our ability to support student-athletes physically, mentally, socially and academically,” Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said. “Notre Dame has long been committed to both athletic success and care for the well-being of our student-athletes, and this new facility will help us to excel on the field while we advance the study of sports science, nutrition and medicine on campus, with benefits for athletes everywhere.”

An illustrated map showing the location of the new Jack and Kathy Shields Family Hall.
The new Jack and Kathy Shields Family Hall will be located along Courtney Lane on the east side of campus.

“I could not be more humbled by the gifts from Jack and Kathy Shields and others, which will ensure our student-athletes and staff have the tools to be successful on the field, in the classroom and in life,” said Pete Bevacqua, vice president and the James E. Rohr Director of Athletics. “This building will be yet another testament to the support of our football program, solidifying that we have the top gameday facility (Notre Dame Stadium), a best-in-class indoor facility (Irish Athletics Center) and now a brand-new operations center (Jack and Kathy Shields Family Hall). Furthermore, this undertaking allows us to continue our effort to be the most advanced sports performance unit in college athletics with an addition of over 80,000 square feet dedicated to the success of our student-athletes through the renovation of the Gug.

“The idea of former student-athletes investing in the future of Notre Dame football is a strong sign of the vitality of the program.”

At 150,000 square feet, the new facility will offer a nearly 50 percent increase in space over the Gug, which opened in 2005.

The facility will include an advanced training room; a stand-alone sports medicine facility; an equipment facility with body scanning and fabrication technology; a new and expanded locker room; meeting rooms, including a two-level, all-team auditorium and an augmented reality walkthrough room; media innovation spaces, including recording studios and photo studios; academic support spaces; and a new player nutrition area designed to foster community between teams and model healthy eating.

Jack and Kathy Shields reside in Duxbury, Massachusetts, and Tampa, Florida. They are the parents of four children: John, William, Madeline and Fallon, a 2006 Notre Dame graduate.

Jack Shields earned his bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame in 1983 and his law degree from Catholic University in 1986. He was the CEO of Shields Health Solutions, a specialty pharmacy accelerator, until 2021, when the company was acquired by Walgreens. Before that, he was president of Shields MRI, the largest outpatient imaging provider in New England. He is currently the founder and chair of Shields Health Innovations.

In addition to serving on the For Good cabinet, Jack Shields is on the Advisory Council for the Student-Athlete. He and Kathy are Friends of Ted & Ned, and they belong to the Badin Guild. They also have a family foundation that supports nonprofits in Massachusetts and Florida, including the Brockton Boys and Girls Clubs and BC High.

“Shields Hall is more than just a football facility. Kathy and I wanted to provide a center that will provide resources for our players’ minds, bodies and spirits during their time at Notre Dame and beyond. We want to ensure our team can play like champions today and live like champions for the rest of their lives.”

In 2019, the Shieldses provided initial funding for Project LAND (Life After Notre Dame), which, in addition to the University’s own 4 For Forever program, provides student-athletes with the tools and resources needed to succeed at Notre Dame and beyond. Carter is CEO and president of Project LAND. Eilers is a founding board member.

“Shields Hall is more than just a football facility,” Jack Shields said. “Kathy and I wanted to provide a center that will provide resources for our players’ minds, bodies and spirits during their time at Notre Dame and beyond. We want to ensure our team can play like champions today and live like champions for the rest of their lives.”

Pat and Jana Eilers reside in Winnetka, Illinois. They are the parents of four children: Elizabeth, a 2015 Notre Dame graduate; Katherine, a 2017 Notre Dame graduate and former Fighting Irish lacrosse player; Clare, a 2020 Notre Dame graduate; and Patrick, a current Notre Dame junior and member of the Fighting Irish lacrosse team. Pat and Jana Eilers are members of the Badin Guild. Pat is a member of the Wall Street Leadership Committee, For Good cabinet and the Advisory Council for the Student-Athlete.

Dave and Clare Butler reside in Rye, New York. They are Notre Dame parents and have four children, Caroline, class of 2021; Margo; Emma, class of 2023 and Liam, class of 2027. In addition to being a member of the For Good cabinet, Dave Butler serves on the Advisory Council for the Student-Athlete and the Wall Street Leadership Committee.

Tom Carter is a former All-American. He was the 17th overall pick in the 1993 NFL draft and played nine seasons for the Redskins, Bears and Bengals. He holds a master’s degree in business from Indiana University and a doctorate in business from Jacksonville University. Before joining Project LAND, he was director of player affairs for the NFL Players Association for 15 years.

Pat Kramer resides in Duxbury, Massachusetts, with his wife, Mary. They have three children: Dane, Aaron and Grant. Pat Kramer graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in finance. He is an account executive for Alera Group, an employee benefits company with local, national and international clients.

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