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Feature

Building pride, supporting academic excellence

From M, winter 2004

Alumni-supported buildings

The UMAA's recent pledge toward an on-campus stadium continues a tradition of supporting University building projects:

> Alumni led and paid for the drive to construct Memorial Stadium (1924) and Northrop Memorial Auditorium (1929).

> In the 1930s, the association filed the application that convinced the federal government--through the New Deal's Public Works Agency--to fund 45 percent of the construction of Coffman Memorial Union, then helped raise more money through events like a series of golf exhibitions with Patty Berg (B.A. '51).

> Over the last five years, the alumni association and its volunteers joined with the University of Minnesota Foundation and the Minnesota Medical Foundation to raise money for and construct the McNamara Alumni Center and the Gateway Plaza.

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association will contribute $1.5 million to an on-campus football stadium and student scholarships. The UMAA National Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution in September to contribute $1 million to a new on-campus stadium, contingent upon Board of Regents approval of a project. A new University fund will match the $500,000 scholarship donation, making $1 million of new scholarship money available. Funds will come from the association's investment portfolio. UMAA national president Jerry Noyce (B.S. '67) said, after the vote, that the dual donations fit the association's dual missions of building pride and supporting academic excellence. They will also leave a legacy marking the UMAA's centennial year. "Everyone in Minnesota benefits from the University's scholarships," Noyce says, "and the on-campus stadium will be a place where we come together to celebrate shared milestones and create spirit." Current proposals call for a stadium to be built on a site now occupied by parking lots east of Mariucci Arena. Regents were expected to review a feasability study in early December.

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