I am pleased to announce that St. Lawrence University has received a campaign leadership gift in the form of a major planning grant from Tom Dolan ’74 and the Dolan Family Foundation. The grant will allow St. Lawrence to conduct a comprehensive study to consider ways of renewing and enhancing Appleton Arena, regarded by so many as one of the university’s significant “heritage” facilities, originally opened in 1951. The potential of this project will benefit our student-athletes in the men’s and women’s hockey programs as well as other intercollegiate and intramural sports while also improving the spectator experience from the knotty-pine seats or by watching games through online livestream.
The University has established two groups to assist in this planning process. A Steering, Planning, and Oversight Committee will consist of University Trustees Tom Saddlemire ’70 (chair of the University Properties Committee), Bill Crombie ’69, Jo Ann Campbell ’86, Dan Seaman (Chief Facilities Officer); Bob Durocher (Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation); and, Tom Pynchon (Vice President for University Advancement). Mr. Crombie and Ms. Campbell both wore Saints hockey sweaters as team members. A Campus User Group will include head coaches Mark Morris (men’s hockey), Chris Wells ’92 (women’s hockey); Bill DeCoteau (Associate Professor in Psychology, former college varsity hockey player); Randy LaBrake ’80 (Senior Associate Director of Athletics), and Fran Grembowicz (Senior Women’s Administrator and Field Hockey Coach). Also on the committee will be Tom O’Connor ’75, and Casey Peterson ’03, both former hockey players; they will be joined by current team members Hannah Miller ’18 and Joe Sullivan ’18. Scott Lasky ’05 will serve as a member-at-large. There will be opportunity for broad idea-sharing among Laurentians as the process moves along over the next few months.
Meanwhile, an architect will be selected shortly to develop detailed concepts and plans. The intention of the donors in making this extraordinary grant is to ensure that the core essence of Appleton is preserved, the strength and conditioning facilities are modernized, and that the livestream quality of home game broadcasts matches the best in NCAA DI hockey. All costs associated with the planning are provided by this new grant. The full plan ought to be completed in the Spring 2018 semester.