Michigan State gets $3 million gift

A $3 million gift to Michigan State athletics, one of the largest in school history, will be used to enhance athletic facilities and the men's basketball offices, according to a Thursday release by the university.

Cindy and Mark Pentecost, CEO of It Works! skin care corporation and a former high school basketball coach, donated the large sum as part of the university's "Empower Extraordinary" fundraising effort. The goal of the campaign, which was launched publicly in October, is to raise $262 million for the improvement of Michigan State athletic facilities. Per the release, the school has surpassed the halfway mark of its overall goal.

"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, according to the release. "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."

Added athletic director Mark Hollis, per the release: "The impact of their gift will be felt for generations. We already have the hardest working coaching staff in the country under Coach [Tom] 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."

Michigan State, which has reached the Final Four six times with Izzo at the helm, is 13-7 overall and 4-3 in the Big Ten entering a Thursday night matchup at Rutgers that was postponed earlier this week due to weather.