CSU received the largest single donation in school history on Wednesday, which will go towards renovating Hughes Stadium and continuing construction on the University Center for the Arts.
The $20.1 million gift came from the Bohemian Foundation, a local philanthropic organization, and its president, Pat Stryker. The announcement was kept secret until Wednesday’s conference.
“I’m very pleased to support the university with this gift,” Stryker said. “High quality public education is essential to a strong society.”
In addition to the Hughes Stadium enhancements, the stadium’s football field will now be called Sonny Lubick Field, after CSU’s head football coach.
“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” Lubick said.
Of the $20.1 million, $4.9 million will go to the University Center for the Arts and $15.2 million will go to the stadium renovations and enhancements.
“This unprecedented gift will contribute in a broad way…it will signal the importance of a deep reservoir of support for CSU,” said CSU President Albert C. Yates.
The University Center for the Arts project began with the groundbreaking May 2 and construction will continue to build a thrust theater, an experimental theater, a music rehearsal hall, and other theater shops and support areas.
“This is an astonishing gift,” said Robert Hoffert, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “It’s astonishing in its significance for more than 8,000 CSU students and it’s astonishing in its uplifting impact to our moral.”
The center is scheduled for completion in May of 2004.
“CSU benefits all of us,” Stryker said. “Whether you take part in cultural events or enjoy watching Sonny Lubick’s Rams beat CU.”
The Hughes Stadium renovation will include improvements to benefit the football program, including new artificial turf for the practice facility and the Sonny Lubick Field, as well as new fan amenities, including new scoreboards and a video board, new concession stands, more seating and parking. It will also improve supporter amenities, including enhanced club-level seating and new suites.
“I know every person who ever wore the green and gold, in every sport, they are welling up with pride right now,” Lubick said.
Yates said he hopes to begin work as soon as possible and complete individual projects quickly, including the new turf on the practice field.
“The Bohemian Foundation and Pat Stryker have made this a very special and historic day for Colorado State University,” said Jeff Hathaway, the CSU athletics director.
Many of the conference’s approximately 200 attendees expressed amazement and shock at hearing the donation announcement, including one man who fell to his knees upon hearing the amount of the donation.
“Pat Stryker’s generosity to the university has always been phenomenal,” said David Bower, the outgoing president of the Associated Students of CSU.
Stryker’s only request was that the field be named after Lubick.
“Stryker’s a person of enormous heart, of true spirit and courageous character,” Yates said. “She’s done all she can to provide those among us with a helping hand…She simply wants to do the right thing.”