Gift From Alumnus Will Fund Indoor Training Center
Thanks to a $2.5 million gift from alumnus Mark R. Shenkman, UConn will soon have an indoor training facility that will be used by the football program, recreational services, and other varsity sports.
The gift, one of the largest ever to the Division of Athletics, will help build an 85,000-square-foot intercollegiate, intramural, and recreational facility that will rival similar facilities at other major universities nationwide that have traditionally been dominant in college football.
Featuring a 120-yard-long synthetic playing surface, an 18,000-square- foot strength and conditioning area, and state-of-the-art video capabilities, the Mark R. Shenkman Training Center will provide UConn's football team with the most technologically advanced training equipment.
"The Mark R. Shenkman Training Center will be a huge breakthrough in the growth of our football program," says UConn head football coach Randy Edsall. "Now we'll have the advantage of year-round training, which is a necessity for any team serious about competing for conference championships and bowl victories."
The University has contracted with the Hartford-based firm of Jeter, Cook and Jepson and with HOK Sport + Venue + Event, an architectural firm based in Kansas City, to provide architectural and engineering services for new center.
Founded in 1983, HOK created the first practice devoted to the design of sports facilities and is now recognized as a world leader in the field. Its client list includes 75 major colleges and universities, 24 Major League Baseball franchises, and 30 National Football League franchises. The company has been involved with more than 600 sports projects, including on-campus football facilities for several major universities and professional stadiums for the New England Patriots, the Houston Texans, and the San Francisco Giants.
A resident of Greenwich, Shenkman received a bachelor's degree in political science from UConn in 1965. He is founder and president of Shenkman Capital Management Inc., a registered investment advisor with offices in New York City and Stamford. He has served on the UConn Foundation's Board of Directors for eight years and has been a member of its investment committee. He was elected to the School of Business Hall of Fame in 2002 and has endowed a classroom and the e-Commerce Chair for the business school.
"We are very grateful to Mark Shenkman and his entire family for this significant enhancement to our athletic program," says Jeff Hathaway, director of athletics. "Thanks to this gift, and the opening of the newest and most modern college football stadium in the country at Rentschler Field last year, our football program's training and playing facilities are among the best in the nation. In addition, this landmark facility will provide all of our varsity teams with an outstanding training venue, while adding to our recreational services offerings."
Says Shenkman, "There is a special place in my heart for the University of Connecticut. With this gift, I hope to see our football program achieve the same standard of excellence as the men's and women's basketball teams. It's also gratifying that the UConn student population as a whole will benefit from this leading edge facility."
Groundbreaking for the Mark R. Shenkman Training Center, adjacent to the South Parking Garage, will take place this winter. The opening is slated for the summer of 2006.