The University of Puget Sound announced it has received a $1.1 million commitment from the Names Family Foundation in support of a new athletics and aquatics center. The pledge will help Puget Sound enhance Memorial Fieldhouse and attach a spacious addition to it, creating a modern, attractive, fully-integrated recreation and fitness facility for Puget Sound’s student athletes, campus members, and the community. The pledge was made as part of the One [of a Kind] The Campaign for University of Puget Sound, which will raise $125 million for student support, educational and campus resources, and facilities.
“This remarkable gift from the Names Family Foundation will support a tremendous asset for all our current and future students, and especially for our student athletes,” said Puget Sound President Ronald R. Thomas. “It is inspiring to have a family that includes several Puget Sound alumni so generously support the enhancement of a complete college experience for generations to come. The new center will provide all campus members with top-rate fitness facilities. It will help attract and support students and high-performing student-athletes; and it will add a special spark to Logger spirit and pride, with an impressive addition to Puget Sound’s beautiful campus.”
Erin Shagren, trustee and administrator of the Names Family Foundation and a 1988 graduate of Puget Sound, said the gift aligns with the foundation’s mission of enhancing health and fitness opportunities in the Tacoma and Pierce County area. She said the project has special significance for her because her parents, Tom Names ’59 and Anna “Meg” Names ’56, met while studying at Puget Sound.
“I’m really excited about the new athletics facility because University of Puget Sound has long been important to my family,” Shagren said. “I had three great uncles who attended Puget Sound. My dad, mother, and I all graduated from there. My father played basketball for the Loggers.”
To create the $17.5 million center, Puget Sound will upgrade and expand the athletics facilities within Memorial Fieldhouse and Pamplin Sports Center, and build an aquatics center on the west side. The additional 39,000 square feet of space will extend the facilities to the south and west, and replace part of a current parking lot.
Pamplin Sports Center will receive spacious additions that will include a modern fitness center, rowing ergonomics room, enhanced training room, cafe, team meeting room/classroom, and coaches’ offices. A new northwest entrance and reception area, with floor to ceiling windows ascending three stories high, will complement the recently reconfigured north entrance of Memorial Fieldhouse.
The daylight-filled aquatics center will include a 25-yard, eight-lane swimming pool, with space for water polo, scuba, and kayaking, plus an additional three warm-up lanes for instruction, rehabilitation, and therapy. The state-of-the-art pool will replace the current Wallace Memorial Pool that was built in a separate building in 1957. The timing of the construction will be determined as the capital campaign progresses.
The new facility, designed by architects Sink Combs Dethlefs, will be in high demand. Logger student athletes make up nearly 20 percent of the student body, while many more students take part in intramural and club sports teams, fitness activities, and climbing. Athletics facilities are also extensively used by staff, faculty, alumni, and members of the community.
Logger varsity teams have captured 40 Northwest Conference Championships since Puget Sound joined NCAA Division III in 1999. The women’s swimming teams have won 13 of the last 16 Northwest Conference championships.
The Names Family Foundation was established in 1996 by Scott and Sis Names, who shared a passion for philanthropy and a deep interest in health and fitness. The couple, who grew up in Pierce County and raised three children, were early investors in a sports shoe business, started by a young Oregon athlete, that later became the global firm Nike. Scott Names passed away in 2004 at age 91. Sis Names continues to be an active foundation board member.
Other Puget Sound projects supported by the Names Family Foundation have included the Names Family Foundation Endowed Fund for Athletics, Lower Baker Field renovations, Logger Club annual support, and the football field scoreboard.