University of Rochester

Emerson Foundation Gift Designated for Sports Complex

March 19, 1999

The Fred L. Emerson Foundation Inc. of Auburn, N.Y., has awarded a $500,000 grant to the University of Rochester toward the renovation of the sports and recreation complex on the River Campus.

This is the latest gift for the $15-million campaign to completely reconstruct the interior of Alumni Gym and make substantial improvements to the Palestra and other parts of the complex. Part of the Emerson grant will go to support the renovation of the Palestra lobby, which will be named in honor of Roger D. Lathan, University vice president emeritus and alumnus.

The Emerson Foundation's donation continues a history of support for student-centered initiatives both academic and extracurricular at the University. Primarily, the foundation's interests are concentrated on private higher education and other programs in upstate New York.

With a striking entrance and reorganized space, the new complex will offer easy access to all services. Plans call for construction of a fitness center and new multi-use rooms; enlargement of the basketball court to meet NCAA Division III standards; renovation of the spectator area of the pool; relocation of the coaches' offices; and installation of air conditioning in Alumni Gym, the pool, and squash courts.

Robert B. Goergen, chairman of the University Board of Trustees and an alumnus, also has pledged $5 million for renovating the facility. Completion is targeted for fall 2000 with the complex named the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center.

When finished, the renovation will give Rochester the best facility in the University Athletic Association, an organization of major research universities that emphasize scholastic achievement for athletes. In addition, the complex will have elevators and other significant improvements that are compatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act.