Stadium energizes students, new and old

The new football stadium is the symbolic center of campus life.

Archie Givens, Guest Columnist

With the opening of the new TCF Bank Stadium, itâÄôs worth noting that our University is a model for leveraging the outpouring of enthusiasm and support for the stadium to raise money for academics: the University of MinnesotaâÄôs core mission. People across the state are excited about the new stadium, and that shows in the number of contributions made to the stadium fundraising effort. University President Bob Bruininks deserves praise for deciding to mobilize around the stadium excitement and highlight the UâÄôs academic initiatives, bringing in more than $45 million dollars in contributions to scholarships and academic programs. Many donors are motivated by the UâÄôs strong educational and research mission, but there are others who are motivated by the spirit that surrounds athletics. To this day, my favorite U of M memories are football Saturdays at Memorial Stadium. In 1981, I supported Gopher football leaving campus to play at the Metrodome; I believed doing so would help recruit top talent. However, I didnâÄôt realize what a void that would create. Now I understand what weâÄôve missed for 27 years: not just football Saturdays, but there exists a generation of alumni and their children who went to football games but never experienced one on campus, a generation who never forged that connection to the U. The new stadium is the symbolic center of campus life for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and all the citizens of Minnesota. The U and the Alumni Association look forward to the present and future generations of students, parents, alumni and the citizens of Minnesota having the opportunity to enjoy campus and connect with the University in that way once again. Archie Givens President, National Board of Directors, University of Minnesota Alumni Association