Not only will the new Merlis Belsher Place support a hockey rink, but a couple of basketball practice courts have been added to the mix.
Alumni and long-time donors Ron and Jane Graham gave $4 million to the project during an announcement Thursday morning.
“We just want to give back to other students to make their university experience better,” Jane Graham said. “Athletics really influenced us when we were on campus and had a great time.”
It was a significant milestone for the Grahams as they’ve become the largest cumulative alumni donors to the university in its history, giving close to $20 million.
“We just want facilities available for student athletes to practice,” Ron Graham said.
Court space is tough to get at U of S because of a number of court sports and they use it for exam writing.
“It will help with student recreation because a lot of their games are played in the evening,” Ron Graham said. “It’s hard to play an athletic event so late and then have enough sleep for school the next day.”
The Grahams’ donation will also fund locker rooms for the Huskie basketball teams.
“It’s not just the games we like, it’s the amazing people we meet throughout getting to know them,” Jane Graham said.
In honour of the Grahams’, the main court at the Physical Athletic Complex (PAC) will be named Ron and Jane Graham Centre Court.