New name for South

Most University landmarks are named after people who have greatly impacted the University. The winners of the South Mall renaming contest may not have any buildings named after them, but their chosen idea will forever be enshrined on a future campus landmark.
Choosing from a list of about 1,000 contest entries, University President Mark Yudof announced Friday at the Board of Regents’ meeting that “Riverbend Commons” will be the new name of the area between Coffman Union and the Mississippi River. The regents approved the selection with a quick vote.
Three people coincidentally proposed Riverbend Commons. Two students, Casey Lee Hayes and Jason Schultz, and staff member Robert Burgett will receive $100 gift certificates to University Bookstores and invitations to have dinner with Mark and Judy Yudof at Eastcliff, the president’s residence.
In addition, a drawing will be held this week to determine who will win a year’s worth of free parking in the new East River Road parking garage. Burgett withdrew his name from the drawing Monday, leaving just the two students in the running for free parking.
Hayes, who just graduated as a health and wellness major, will split the gift certificate with advertising design major Beth Gipsky. She said the two of them invented the name.
“I was just having a boring day at work,” Schultz said about why he decided to submit his entry online.
About 700 people turned in a total of 1,000 entries. Sandra Gardebring, vice president for institutional relations, selected five names from the list. Of these five, Yudof selected one.
“I chose the one that made the most sense to me,” Yudof said.
The new name marks the expansion of the East Bank South Mall area, which will include a parking garage and a new residence hall with 500 beds, 40 percent of which will face the river or downtown. Riverbend Commons will meet the river, changing the landlocked nature of the University, Yudof said.
“I think it’s on the list of one of the most significant developments at the University.”
— Will Conley