Frungillo family donates $1M to support construction of new Seton Hall basketball practice facility

Seton Hall University’s plans to make a massive upgrade to its sports facilities has not yet received final approval from the planning board — but that hasn’t slowed fundraising for the effort.

On Thursday, Al Frungillo, chair of premier food services company Gourmet Dining, announced a family donation of $1 million to help fund the future construction of an athletics practice facility.

The Frungillo family gift will help Seton Hall complete the next step in its 10-year master plan to enhance facilities for all students and athletics programs. The expansion of the recreation center will include a new practice gym for men’s basketball and enhanced resources for women’s basketball and other athletics programs, as well as the entire Seton Hall community.

The plan is expected to receive all approvals.

Frungillo said the gift should be seen as a demonstration of faith in the vision of President Joseph Nyre and chief of staff Pat Lyons.

“We see leadership moving the university forward, and we want to contribute to the effort,” Fungillo said. “I’ve had the pleasure of serving the Seton Hall community for 36 years, and the excitement that Dr. Nyre has brought to campus has really become a game-changer. My wife, Hope, and I, along with our entire family, are honored to share in this contribution to the University’s continued success.”

Nyre said the school was honored to receive the gift.

“The Frungillo family has been an integral part of the Seton Hall community for decades,” he said. “Al’s partnership, coupled with the family’s generous philanthropic support, prove they believe in the value of quality Catholic higher education and that Seton Hall is uniquely poised to deliver it.”

The Frungillos noted how the school has become family to them.

“We were given the opportunity to take over the food service program at Seton Hall in 1987, and it became a lifelong business for our family,” Hope Frungillo said. “We are truly grateful to have been a part of the Seton Hall community for over 30 years.”

Al and Hope’s son, Michael Frungillo, was 10 years old back in 1987, and his brother, Anthony Frungillo, was 7.

“We grew up on campus,” Michael Frungillo said. “We’ve seen it transform.”

Anthony Frungillo agreed.

“Seton Hall shaped us in every way,” he said. “I have many fond memories from my days as a student. In fact, I met my wife, Jennifer, there. For that reason, in particular, it holds a special place in my heart.”

The Frungillos, the holders of 18 season tickets, are the Pirates’ biggest family fan base. The boys still remember their trip to the Final Four in 1989.

Director of Athletics and Recreation Bryan Felt acknowledged that the family’s support extends well beyond men’s basketball.

“The practice facility project is the latest step in a master plan to improve facilities for all athletics programs and the general Seton Hall community,” he said. “The Frungillos appreciate this holistic approach to providing for all student-athletes. We are grateful for their loyalty and generosity.”