Thursday, July 13, 2006

Rec Center will be a "wonderful addition" to campus

The following letter to the editor appeared in the July 9, 2006, edition of the State Journal-Register.

Recreation center will be great addition at UIS

Later this month, Springfield will experience yet another important groundbreaking ceremony, this time at the University of Illinois at Springfield campus.

The new University Recreation and Athletic Center will be a wonderful addition to an already beautiful and growing campus and will provide the students with new and much-needed fitness and recreational opportunities.

I have been fortunate enough to serve on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee at UIS for several years and I distinctly remember our first meeting with Rich Ringeisen when he was named to succeed the retiring Naomi Lynn. Despite the uncertain economy, Chancellor Ringeisen boldly and confidently predicted the construction of University Hall and a new athletic center for the campus. I suspect many of us on the committee were skeptical at the time.

Thanks to the chancellor’s vision and the enthusiastic support of then-State Rep. Gwenn Klingler and many others, University Hall was completed in August 2004. (I remember Gwenn calling me from the floor of the Statehouse when the appropriations bill passed, she was so excited!)

There is much we can be proud of in Springfield. I sincerely believe that the University of Illinois at Springfield will play a key role in our community’s future as it continues its progress toward becoming a world-class institution of higher learning.

John B. Farrell

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