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Alumni House Addition Dedicated at Homecoming
(Released: 10/24/01)

By Karen Grava, Office of University Communications

STORRS, Conn. -- A 12,000 square foot extension to the Alumni House, doubling its size and adding a new sports museum and an alumni library, will be dedicated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 as part of Homecoming festivities.

The three-story addition, built into the hill between the existing Alumni House and the Field House on Hillside Road and adjacent to the campus Visitors Center, is a symbol of the expanding role of the Alumni Association. UConn has 152,000 alumni, nearly two thirds of which live in Connecticut.

"Our alumni reside in every corner of the globe, but at their alma mater, this building is their home," says President Philip E. Austin. "We are delighted to welcome our former students back to campus for Homecoming or on any other occasion and we hope they visit Alumni House often. The renovations, especially including the sports museum, make it a particularly inviting destination."

The J. Robert Donnelly Husky Heritage Sports Museum is named for Bob Donnelly, Class of 1941, of Nokomis, Fla. And Republic, Mich. a UConn sports legend in football and basketball and a retired successful attorney.

Although the museum will not be dedicated until Jan. 19, some of the photos, videos, plaques, banners, uniforms and other memorabilia will be on display during the sneak preview period between Oct. 27 and January 19.

The museum will document the history of UConn athletics since the turn of the 20th Century and will feature 2,800 square feet of sports artifacts, including a basketball rotunda that will showcase men's and women's basketball, and a statue of UConn's mascot, a white Husky named Jonathan.

"UConn's proud athletic history is a source of pride not only for our alumni, but also for the entire State of Connecticut," says Lew Perkins, director of athletics. "We are pleased to have this new facility to share that history with the public."

Other features of the alumni house are an entryway "Hall of Excellence" to commemorate alumni volunteers, award winners, association presidents, and others who represent a history of excellence, John Feudo, executive director of the Alumni Association, says. There will be an alumni library to showcase books written by alumni, yearbooks, and provide computers where alumni can log on to University and association websites, career information sites, and other UConn resources.

The extension will also include alumni staff offices, meeting rooms, and space for conferences and activities of campus groups, alumni groups, and student groups. The project includes renovation of the existing Alumni House, including expansion of the large reception room on the ground floor.

Feudo said that housing the sports museum in the addition will bring 50,000 visitors to the Alumni House each year. "This is definitely a way to enhance Alumni Association membership, services, and products and is indicative of our great partnership with athletics," he said.

The museum will be open during regular business hours and during special events.

The addition, built on 11 acres deeded to the UConn Alumni Association by the Board of Trustees, meets the University's design standards and is being constructed by the FIP Construction Company of Cheshire with private funding.

Alumni Association Homecoming Events include:

10 a.m.- Alumni Center Dedication and tours of the new building

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Homecoming 2001 Walkathon for Habitat for Humanity, UConn Chapter, Sponsored by UConn Young Alums, Outdoor track, behind the Alumni Center

Registration Fee: $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under

*Contact Kristina Giuliano at (860) 486-2278 or toll free at 888-UC-ALUM-1 or by email kristina.giuliano@uconn.edu to receive sponsor forms and to register.

10:30 a.m. - Homecoming Parade - Gilbert Road to Fairfield Way.

11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Homecoming BBQ - and activities including balloon artists, face painters, parachute games, cotton candy, popcorn, orbotron, moonbounce, inflatable slide and caricaturists. Alumni Center Parking Lot. Please bring non-perishable food item to donate to FoodShare of Connecticut!

1:30 p.m.- UConn Football vs. Ball State - For tickets, call the Athletic Ticket Office at 860-486-2724.

4 p.m. -6 p.m. - Alumni Center Open House

7 p.m. - UConn Men's Soccer vs. Notre Dame - For tickets, call the Athletic Ticket Office at 860-486-2724

Many schools, colleges, and organizations will be participating in Homecoming with open houses and tents on the Student Union Mall. More information is available at the website: http://uconn.edu

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