The University of Arizona

Kalil Commits $1M to McKale Center Renovations

March 13, 2014

George Kalil has committed $1 million to the UA in support of McKale Memorial Center renovations.

Photo courtesy of Arizona Athletics
Photo courtesy of Arizona Athletics

Long time men's basketball supporter George Kalil has committed a $1 million gift to the University of Arizona McKale Memorial Center renovation project.

Greg Byrne, director of the athletics department, made the announcement, noting that Kalil's gift comes just after a number of generous gifts were made to assist Arizona Athletics in the first renovation phase of the McKale.

"A bottler, entrepreneur, innovator and community leader, Kalil exemplifies the principle that local business, higher education and the community must support each other," Byrne noted in his announcement.

Byrne noted that Kalil is a strong supporter of Arizona Athletics and a charter member of the Tucson Fiesta Bowl Committee. Also, he is an avid follower of Arizona basketball, who has traveled with the team for 41 years.

Kalil grew up in the family bottling business, Kalil Bottling Co. headquartered in Tucson and founded in 1948.  He became president of the company in 1970, growing the business from net sales of $400,000 to over $200 million today. Kalil's honors include being named the Beverage Industry Executive of the Year, Beverage World Hall of Fame, Arizona Retail Grocers’ Association Supplier of the Year and Arizona Small Business Person of the Year.

The athletics department, in partnership with the UA Foundation, is working to raise $30 million for Phase I of an overall $80 million McKale renovation project.