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Nebraska Receives Major Gift Toward Practice Facility, Student Life Complex Fundraising Campaign Completed
Courtesy: NU Athletic Communications
03/10/2009
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The Nebraska Athletic Department has received a major gift toward the Devaney Center Improvements Project, which will include a basketball practice facility.
Courtesy: Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Nebraska Athletics announced today that the Department has received a major gift toward the Devaney Center Improvements Project at the Bob Devaney Sports Center and that it has successfully completed fundraising for the Student Life Complex and Recruiting Enhancement Display Project.

Athletic Director Tom Osborne identified a new basketball practice facility as an immediate need and a crucial factor in recruiting.  New practice facilities are also planned for wrestling and women’s and men’s gymnastics.  Updates are also planned for the athletic medicine and strength and conditioning facilities for each Husker sport that competes or trains at the Devaney Center.  In addition to basketball, those sports include men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis and women’s swimming.   Many of the coaches’ offices will also be updated as part of the project.

To jump-start the fundraising effort for this project, a generous $10 million gift was received from the Hendricks family.  Tom and Mary Hendricks, together with their children, Jennifer and Brandon, conveyed to Osborne that they want to help Nebraska student-athletes compete for championships.  While the programming effort is currently underway, preliminary estimates indicate a minimum requirement of $17 million to complete the project.

“This new practice facility is vital for student-athletes’ game-day preparations as well as recruiting,” Osborne said. “With the introduction of Title IX and women’s athletics after the Devaney Center was built, we have two Division I basketball programs trying to effectively practice and compete on one floor, not to mention all of the other sports and activities that take place in the Devaney Center.  We are very grateful for this most-generous gift from the Hendricks family and appreciate what they are doing for the future of our student-athletes and programs.”

Nebraska athletics is still looking to participate in a downtown arena project with the City of Lincoln in the future. However, the basketball practice facility would continue to be located and fully function from the Devaney site, without compromising the City Arena Project.

While fundraising has just begun for the Devaney Center Improvements Project, Paul Meyers, Nebraska’s Associate Athletic Director for Development confirmed that fundraising for the Student Life Complex is complete.

Meyers said that more than $10 million has been raised with other finishing-touch pledges expected to be finalized shortly.  As suggested by Osborne, former NU student-athletes came together to donate more than $1 million of the $10.5 million project.  Approximately $8.7 was needed to complete the renovation of the old weight room into student service areas for academics, compliance and life skills.  The remaining $1.8 million will go toward enhancing displays on the recruiting paths throughout Nebraska’s athletic facilities.

“We are pleased to complete this project that is so crucial to the total-person development of our student-athletes,” Meyers said.  “Despite the difficult economy we are all in, everyone has recognized the importance of these two facilities as our student-athletes strive to be the best they can be on and off the court.”

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