TACOMA, Wash. – The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation has committed $2 million in support of a new Athletics and Aquatics Center on the University of Puget Sound campus.
The gift, which comes as part of Puget Sound’s $125 million One [of a Kind] comprehensive campaign, moves the college forward in its plan for a modern $17.5 million fitness and recreation facility that will be a gathering point for hundreds of campus and community members. The Leavey Foundation gift qualifies for the dollar-for-dollar match pledged by a group of Puget Sound trustees in July 2013, thereby bringing construction of the facility closer to reality.
“The Athletics and Aquatics Center plays a key role in Puget Sound’s strategic commitment to a holistic approach to student development where physical fitness and well-being are essential components of a comprehensive academic residential learning experience,” said Puget Sound President Ronald R. Thomas. “This gift from the Leavey Foundation reflects a comparable commitment to student achievement and a resolve to ensure that our students develop their full human potential. The new center will also complete the dramatic transformation of the south end of campus as envisioned by our master plan, and we warmly thank the foundation for this generous support.”
The Athletics and Aquatics Center will be home to Puget Sound’s 2600 students, 600 faculty and staff, 23 varsity teams, and to hundreds of intramural athletes. In addition to providing a state-of-the-art home for Puget Sound’s competitive championship swim teams, it will provide physical fitness facilities for campus members and the community, and serve academic programs such as exercise science, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.
The latter two programs provide health services for more than 300 members of the Tacoma community each year, including rehabilitation therapies that make use of a pool. In addition Puget Sound’s athletic facilities serve as a community resource through the summer Little Logger camps, where local youth learn the importance of playing sports and staying fit.
The new center is expected to assist Puget Sound’s student recruitment and outreach to high-achieving scholar-athletes who can sustain the Loggers’ impressive record of performance—including capturing 44 Division III Northwest Conference championships. As the college further develops its residential liberal arts experience and increases the number of students living on campus, the center will be a valuable resource for those seeking athletic and fitness opportunities.
“It is a pleasure for our foundation to be able to contribute to the inspirational liberal arts experience that Puget Sound promises and so compellingly offers its talented student body,” said Kathleen Duncan ’82, a trustee of the Leavey Foundation and Puget Sound board member. “This facility will be a source of pride for both the campus and Tacoma, and we look forward to the excitement it is sure to generate once the doors open on this vibrant new space.”
To create the center, Puget Sound will upgrade and expand the athletic facilities within Memorial Fieldhouse and Pamplin Sports Center, and add a new aquatics center. Additions will include a fitness center, rowing ergometer room, climbing wall, enhanced training room, juice bar, team meeting room/classroom, and coaches’ offices. A new Hall of Fame area will pay tribute to Logger alumni from all eras. Additionally a new northwest entrance and reception area—with three-story, floor-to-ceiling windows—will complement the reconfigured north entrance of Memorial Fieldhouse.
The new aquatics center will include an eight lane, 25-yard swimming pool, with space for water polo, scuba, and kayaking, plus areas for instruction, rehabilitation, and therapy. The modern, daylight-lit pool will replace the current Wallace Memorial Pool, built in 1957.
Today’s announcement reflects the second large, recent commitment from the Leavey Foundation in support of Puget Sound’s One [of a Kind] campaign and of the university’s master plan, the 2023 Tapestry of Learning. In 2010 the foundation pledged up to $2 million toward the construction of a new health sciences building, which was opened in fall 2011 and named The William T. and Gail T. Weyerhaeuser Center for Health Sciences.