Cheney Foundation contributes $300K to University of Puget Sound sports facility

University of Puget Sound officials announced Thursday the Ben B. Cheney Foundation has contributed $300,000 to support a plan to build an athletics and aquatics center on campus.

The contribution brings the college closer to a $17.5 million goal that will help fund the project, which includes the addition of 39,000 square feet to the west of Memorial Fieldhouse; the renovation of 17,000 square feet within the field house and Pamplin Sports Center; new or upgraded facilities featuring a fitness center, rowing ergometer room, climbing wall, training room, team meeting room, coaches’ offices, and a central juice bar to provide a relaxing social space; extensive sky-lighting and three-story ceilings that aim to enhance the facility; and an aquatics center featuring an eight-lane, 25-yard swimming pool with areas for water polo, scuba diving, kayaking, swimming instruction, rehabilitation, and aqua therapy. The naturally lit pool area will replace the 57-year-old Wallace Memorial Pool.

“Our founder, Ben Cheney, loved nothing more than to stand cheering with friends at the ballpark, and he made sure that his legacy of growing young athletic talent and helping the community prosper lived on through the foundation,” said Ben B. Cheney Foundation Executive Director Brad Cheney, who is also an alumnus and trustee emeritus of the University of Puget Sound. “[The University of] Puget Sound’s plan for a modern athletics center that will encourage students to excel and provide a healthful leisure outlet for campus and community members is an initiative clearly reflecting that legacy. We look forward to seeing the vision become a reality.”

According to university officials, the foundation made two separate $150,000 gifts, one of which qualified for the dollar-for-dollar match pledged by a group of Puget Sound trustees last July. The gifts also help drive ahead the college’s $125 million comprehensive campaign, One [of a Kind] The Campaign for University of Puget Sound, which aims to support students, faculty, and academic and residential life programs. The campaign has raised $116.5 million so far, according to university officials.

“This addition to campus will enable us to fulfill our mission of a providing a healthy and comprehensive living and learning experience for all of our students—intellectually, physically, and psychologically,” said University of Puget Sound President Ronald R. Thomas. “I am immensely grateful to have the Cheney family share our vision and support a facility that will provide recreation, fitness, competition, and even therapeutic opportunities for our campus and community.”

Two years ago, University of Puget Sound officials announced the Names Family Foundation would direct $1.1 million to support the new athletics and aquatics center.

The University of Puget Sound was established in 1888 and is located at 1500 N. Warner St. in Tacoma. More information is available online at

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