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Trustees name plaza, park, in honor of major donors (Released: 11/10/98)

by Richard Veilleux, Office of University Communications

STORRS, Conn. -- The University of Connecticut's Board of Trustees on Tuesday (Nov. 10) named one of three new plazas being constructed in the campus' academic core in honor of the family of Harry A. and Edith Gampel, and a nearby park after the family of Thomas J. and Bette Wolff. The Gampels and the Wolffs are long-time friends of and donors to the University.

The Gampel commitment includes $1 million recently pledged to UConn's endowment. The Gampels pledged an identical amount 10 years ago, allowing University officials to reach the more than $4 million in private contributions needed to complete funding for what is now the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. The pavilion, home to the highly-regarded men's and women's basketball teams, is located across Hillside Road from the plaza that also will now bear the Gampel name.

Closer to the pavilion, a park of shrubs and flowers frames the bronze bust of a Husky dog, a favorite stopping point for fans attending games, students moving between classes, and families taking pictures at Commencement. That park now becomes the Wolff Family Park in honor of the couple, who have made donations during the past decade totaling $1 million to the School of Business Administration and the Division of Athletics.

Harry Gampel graduated from UConn in 1943, and received an honorary degree in 1993; Thomas Wolff graduated in 1956.

"I'm extraordinarily pleased to be able to honor these friends, alumni and supporters of UConn. We could not possibly be on our current trajectory, moving into the company of the nation's finest research universities, without the support we receive from Harry, Edith, Tom and Bette, and many other generous alumni and friends like them. We're thrilled to be able to honor their efforts in this way," says President Philip E. Austin.

The Wolff Family Park and Gampel Family Plaza are key to creating the northern entrance to the pedestrian campus core, which includes intersecting paths, lined with trees, shrubs, and seating areas. A central concept of the University's master facilities plan, the pedestrian way is designed to encourage interaction between students, faculty, and staff.