July 2, 1998
KALAMAZOO -- The Bill Brown Alumni Football Center at Western Michigan University's Waldo Stadium will be dedicated in public ceremonies at 2 p.m. Friday, July 10, in the lobby of the building.
Participating in the ceremony will be: James S. Brady of Grand Rapids, WMU trustee emeritus and chairperson of the WMU Foundation; Kathy B. Beauregard, director of intercollegiate athletics; Willard A. (Bill) Brown of Chicago, who headed fund raising for the project; and President Diether H. Haenicke.
The Board of Trustees recently approved naming the center for Brown, a 1953 graduate, in recognition of his long-time dedication to WMU and its intercollegiate athletics program. The $8.2 million, 55,000-square-foot structure has been built entirely with private contributions.
"The Bill Brown Alumni Football Center will provide WMU's coaches and student athletes with some of the best facilities in the country," said Keith A. Pretty, vice president for external affairs and general counsel and president of the WMU Foundation. "We're very grateful for all the support we've received, especially that of Bill Brown."
The new center, with a large atrium at its main entrance on Stadium Drive, includes entirely new locker rooms for visiting and home players. It also has facilities for training, strength and conditioning, and an auditorium that seats 130 persons. Third-floor coaches' offices also will be used for instruction and as suites on game days.
Brown, a retired real estate developer, has been a member of the WMU Foundation Board of Directors since 1983, serving as its chairperson from 1986 to 1989. He graduated from WMU in 1953, having played football all four years. He was named the team's most valuable player in 1952.
The Bill Brown Alumni Football Center completes the renovation of Waldo Stadium, which began in 1995 with improved seating, restrooms, concession stands and permanent lighting. The new John W. Gill Stadium Club provides bench seating for 3,300 fans and 750 chairback seats.
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