Boston College Annual Report 2003

Yawkey Athletics Center

.The Yawkey Athletics Center, expected to open in 2005, will be the home of the football team. The state-of-the-art center, which will abut the north end zone of Alumni Stadium, will house separate training and locker rooms for the team and will feature a weight room, a large classroom, meeting rooms, offices, event and study spaces, and a football hall of fame. In addition, the new center will greatly benefit all other campus sports by opening up to them the full use of Boston College’s existing athletic facilities.

Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo is pleased that when the center opens, the more than 600 students who participate in 17 women’s sports and 14 men’s sports will gain the space and facilities they need. “For historical reasons, and because our facilities are limited, we have not been able to provide our Olympic and women athletes with as good an experience as they ought to have at BC. This is an opportunity to give each of our students, men and women, an equal chance to excel at their sports,” he says.

Thanks to a $15 million gift from The Yawkey Foundation, the largest foundation gift received in the history of Boston College, the squeeze for space will soon be a thing of the past. “My staff is pretty cramped where we are right now,” says Women’s Basketball Coach Cathy Inglese, whose 14-member team typically crowds into her office in Conte Forum to analyze basketball films. Currently, they have to use the men’s soccer team’s locker room during games. Tight quarters even forced Coach Inglese to turn a closet into an office for her assistant coach.

.“Recognizing that amateur sports offers an important opportunity for self-discovery and learning on many levels and that Boston College has a strong commitment to fostering scholar-athletes, The Yawkey Foundation chose to help the University make this experience available to more students. This gift will help continue the legacy of Tom and Jean Yawkey who were strong supporters of education and amateur sports and had a longstanding relationship with Boston College.” JOHN L. HARRINGTON ’57, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND TRUSTEE, THE YAWKEY FOUNDATION

The Yawkey Athletics Center will be a definite boon to the football team. “Over the years, our football training facilities fell behind the competition,” says Football Coach Tom O’Brien. “The Yawkey Center is going to be a critical ingredient in helping us to continue to attract the student athletes we want at BC—the kind who can both win on the field and be successful in the classroom.”

Learning Resources for Student Athletes, which provides athletes with academic assistance, will move to the new center, where there will be more space for studying, more computer stations, and more offices for tutoring. Boston College, which has a strong record of supporting the academic success of its athletes, was honored by the American Football Coaches Association as one of seven institutions to record a football player graduation rate of 90 percent or better.

Kristen Madden ’04—a member of the field hockey team, which is perennially ranked among the nation’s top 20 field hockey teams—looks forward to less crowded workouts at more predictable hours. “I think it will open up Conte Forum and provide students with more personal attention from trainers,” she says.

Photo at top of page: Women’s basketball player Jessalyn Deveny ’05 (on bench) and football player Josh Ott ’03 in Conte Forum.

Inset photo: Jean R. and Thomas A. Yawkey.

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