Campaign for the University meets goal

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Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby NC Titan » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:59 pm

From the UDM website:

The Campaign for University of Detroit Mercy has reached its $100-million goal a year ahead of schedule.
“The success of the campaign is due to the generosity of our alumni and friends as well as their dedication to educating the next generation of our graduates in the Jesuit and Mercy traditions,” said President Antoine M. Garibaldi. “Because of the momentum and enthusiasm that has already been generated, we will be able to accomplish all of the major goals by December 31.”
Some of the areas where significant progress has already been made include:
$40.3 million of the $25-million goal for academic programming and faculty support has been raised.
$14.3 million of the $10-million goal for unrestricted support has been achieved.
77 percent of all gifts have come from alumni and friends.
More than 27 gifts of $1 million or more have been received, including six gifts of $2 million or more from alumni.
The University’s endowment has more than doubled since June 2011, with $28 million of the gifts designated for the endowment.



Additionally, renovations to the College of Engineering & Science are a high priority, as well as an upgrade of the communication studies area and the establishment of an Athletic Village. These projects will provide state-of-the-art learning facilities and enhance the physical conditions for the University’s Division I student-athletes to practice and compete.


Congratulations to the school, the fund-raisers and the donors. If you haven't contributed but would like to have an impact on this institution we all love, the Campaign continues through the end of 2019.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby theroundsquare » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:04 pm

Fantastic!

Anytime is a good time to support your alma mater
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby Rogobob77 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:52 pm

I know that an immediate infrastructure priority for Athletics is to get lighting for Buysse Field (softball) and Titan Field (lacrosse and soccer) to accommodate evening games.

A few years ago I saw a rendering of a plan (presumably commissioned by the University) providing a vision for a structure that would add permanent seating along the western border of Titan Field. In addition to accommodating spectators, there looked to be restroom and locker room facilities beneath the seating. It was brick and mortar, aesthetically very nice, I assume costing at least a couple million dollars. It would likely eliminate a row or two of parking from the current footprint, I don't know how much of an issue that might be. I think if done the right way (including landscaping) it could significantly enhance the look and feel of the north east corner of campus and be a real boost to the Titan teams (lacrosse, soccer, and track & field too) that compete there. Does anyone know if that project is within the reach of the current capital campaign or even if it still on the radar as something Detroit Mercy would like to build down the road?
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby ptctitan » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:11 pm

Rogobob77 wrote:I know that an immediate infrastructure priority for Athletics is to get lighting for Buysse Field (softball) and Titan Field (lacrosse and soccer) to accommodate evening games.

A few years ago I saw a rendering of a plan (presumably commissioned by the University) providing a vision for a structure that would add permanent seating along the western border of Titan Field. In addition to accommodating spectators, there looked to be restroom and locker room facilities beneath the seating. It was brick and mortar, aesthetically very nice, I assume costing at least a couple million dollars. It would likely eliminate a row or two of parking from the current footprint, I don't know how much of an issue that might be. I think if done the right way (including landscaping) it could significantly enhance the look and feel of the north east corner of campus and be a real boost to the Titan teams (lacrosse, soccer, and track & field too) that compete there. Does anyone know if that project is within the reach of the current capital campaign or even if it still on the radar as something Detroit Mercy would like to build down the road?


That would help us host high school soccer and lacrosse games, too.

I've also been told that the to-do list includes a new Titan Club room, more accessible and with more amenities. But I'm not sure that this is included in the $100 million fund.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby NC Titan » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:17 pm

The school raised a half-million to light the soccer field. I assume that's part of the Campaign. At Homecoming in September I met the nice couple who put the last significant gift to hit the mark.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby Rogobob77 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:40 pm

Arnold D'Ambrossio, VP for University Advancement, made some upbeat remarks at today's luncheon about the success of the fundraising campaign and impact on Titan Athletics. He outlined cost savings aspects of the new outdoor lighting (e.g., teams wouldn't have to be regularly transported for evening practices in other locations away from campus). He said that the University might even be able to host some Catholic school night football games, something they are exploring. The VP said endowment is currently at $67 million, it will be $70 million soon, and the $100 million mark will be within reach down the road, with long-term goal of building a financial foundation similar to Marquette and Xavier. There was a vague mention of a Phase II for Athletics projects, perhaps that might encompass permanent seating for Titan Field.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby ExcitedTitan » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:01 pm

Great to the increase in the endowment. While I am sure there are ton of important things that need to be done, hopefully some of the money raised in the campaign will be include visible things. Those make people feel better.

Lights is a great step in the right direction. A dome would be huge too. CSU has a removable dome. I'm not trying to get greedy or sound ungrateful, but the next huge athletic related item needs to be an indoor structure with a full soccer field if we want to stay competitive and lure recruits. All field sports could then stay on campus to train year round. I imagine it would go next to the tennis courts. If it were connected to Calihan a first floor conference/meeting room would be great.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby NC Titan » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:36 pm

ExcitedTitan wrote:Great to the increase in the endowment. While I am sure there are ton of important things that need to be done, hopefully some of the money raised in the campaign will be include visible things. Those make people feel better.


If I recall correctly, part of the facilities funds will go to update the Student Union.

The $70 million is pretty amazing as the total at the start of the decade was $25 million.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby Resurget Cineribus » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:49 pm

NC Titan wrote:
ExcitedTitan wrote:Great to the increase in the endowment. While I am sure there are ton of important things that need to be done, hopefully some of the money raised in the campaign will be include visible things. Those make people feel better.


If I recall correctly, part of the facilities funds will go to update the Student Union.

The $70 million is pretty amazing as the total at the start of the decade was $25 million.


To be like the other Midwest Jesuit schools we need an endowment more like $300 - $500M. We’ve come a long way though and hopefully the fortunes of Detroit overall and Liv 6 continue to go in the right direction.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby titanmac » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:45 pm

give credit to the stock market boom as much as the fiscal responsibiliy of the current administration. a nice one two punch. i applaud the effort. sound fiscal management targets portend doubling it, or close, in 6 years.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby NC Titan » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:10 am

The important point is that the administration, whether it's Garibaldi or development or alumni relations, has generated substantial additional gifts to the endowment. The website article says of the $100 million raised:
$28 million of the gifts designated for the endowment.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby Rogobob77 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:03 pm

ptctitan wrote:
Rogobob77 wrote:I know that an immediate infrastructure priority for Athletics is to get lighting for Buysse Field (softball) and Titan Field (lacrosse and soccer) to accommodate evening games.

A few years ago I saw a rendering of a plan (presumably commissioned by the University) providing a vision for a structure that would add permanent seating along the western border of Titan Field. In addition to accommodating spectators, there looked to be restroom and locker room facilities beneath the seating. It was brick and mortar, aesthetically very nice, I assume costing at least a couple million dollars. It would likely eliminate a row or two of parking from the current footprint, I don't know how much of an issue that might be. I think if done the right way (including landscaping) it could significantly enhance the look and feel of the north east corner of campus and be a real boost to the Titan teams (lacrosse, soccer, and track & field too) that compete there. Does anyone know if that project is within the reach of the current capital campaign or even if it still on the radar as something Detroit Mercy would like to build down the road?


That would help us host high school soccer and lacrosse games, too.

I've also been told that the to-do list includes a new Titan Club room, more accessible and with more amenities. But I'm not sure that this is included in the $100 million fund.

At the Titan Luncheon a couple weeks ago, Robert Vowels mentioned to the group in attendance that the lights for Titan Field should be installed in the next few months. Afterwards in a conversation, I asked the AD about the status of a permanent brick and mortar seating structure to accommodate fans at that site, something I saw in a rendering a few years ago. He said that was somewhat on the back-burner and total cost could range from $3-$14 million depending on scope of the project. Vowels said a more immediate priority would be upgrades in Calihan Hall. I asked about specifics and he said one possibility being discussed is replacing the bleachers in the lower bowl with seat-backs. I’m a big fan of Calihan’s bleachers (generally where I sit for games) but can see how such an upgrade would really provide a more modern and better look for the facility. (Perhaps they would still keep the bleachers in one or both of the end zones.) I asked about timetable and got the impression that this could happen in the next couple of years. Would be interested in hearing others’ thoughts on such a change.

As a footnote, I remember a proposal that was almost implemented in 1974 that would have removed the bleachers completely. It was in response to complaints from opposing coaches that the student fans were getting too rambunctious. I think that would have looked awful so glad it never happened.

Prior to 1973, all the upper bowl wooden seats were painted forrest green. It was Dick Vitale’s idea to have that changed to the red and blue sections. I believe fraternities were recruited to help with the painting project. I think it was 1974 when the press row section was installed in the middle part of the east side bleachers. The originally installed bleachers were a varnished wood. Those were replaced several years ago by the red synthetic-material bleacher seating in current use.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby Tacitus651 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:20 pm

Just my opinion, but I think replacing the bleachers with seat-backs is the most needed upgrade. The games look really bad on tv. Put in seats and make people sit in the lower bowl seats before opening up the upper bowl. Maybe a few folks wouldn’t like that, but we need a televised product that looks like it’s a fun environment.

I’d also suggest painting the new Dm logo on the court in place of the shield. I hate the shield and it looks awful on websites. The Dm logo would look nice in center court, and maybe not make it too big. A local sponsor on the court would also be nice - help pay for some of it.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby R.B.J1 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:08 pm

Tacitus651 wrote:Just my opinion, but I think replacing the bleachers with seat-backs is the most needed upgrade. The games look really bad on tv. Put in seats and make people sit in the lower bowl seats before opening up the upper bowl. Maybe a few folks wouldn’t like that, but we need a televised product that looks like it’s a fun environment.

I’d also suggest painting the new Dm logo on the court in place of the shield. I hate the shield and it looks awful on websites. The Dm logo would look nice in center court, and maybe not make it too big. A local sponsor on the court would also be nice - help pay for some of it.


I have always felt that we should fill the lower bowl first. It would definitely look better, and the hall would be louder. In another post someone stated that the school didn't want to remove the bleacher due to the fact that the bleachers are removed for mens and womens basketball practices and other events such as graduation etc.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby Tacitus651 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:15 pm

I don’t think you can reasonably force people to sit in the lower bowl until we have seats. Sitting on bleachers for two hours isn’t for everyone.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby Big Chuck » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:26 pm

What good would putting some collapsible folding chairs instead of benches do? That is so far down the list of improvements necessary to be laughable. Is that going to get a recruit into the building? I like the character of the bench seating. It's not as intimate as the old wooden benches, but still has a community feel to it that you do not get with individual chairs. Of course I would be one of the first to buy the new chair seats. I can hardly make it up and down the "Stairs" in the upper bowl to get to my seat. Even though it would benefit me and my contemporaries, I hope they do not do it.

I would agree to it if they thought that it would enhance revenue in a meaningful way. But you should realize that making the sideline section premium seating at 4 or 5 times the going rate will result in many games with lots of empty premium seats. That happens everywhere. Could we market 400 seats at $60 a game for 12 home games? I don't think so, but it would theoretically create $250K additional every year.

I believe Historic Calihan Hall is an albatross that is a drain on the athletic and university budget. Unfortunately there is no practical way to get rid of it. Any changes that would enhance the revenue potential of the building are far too expensive to have any payback in the near or intermediate future. About 6 or 7 years ago they tried to market courtside seats. It proved impracticable and the mock up that they set up looked ridiculous. That is just one source of revenue that we cannot do. Cleveland State and Wright State have or did have court level food and drink areas that are marketed to corporations etc. for pregame use. We have no room for that. The Rocket Room or Dayton's Flyer room with service before and during the game while able to watch the game draws money. We cannot do that. Suites like Eastern or Bowling Green....no way to do. I think you get the point.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby uofdfan1983 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:22 pm

I believe that Calihan Hall is the best place in the world to watch a basketball game. I mean it. It's not very good as a softball or lacrosse practice facility, but there is NO place I'd rather watch a basketball game. It was built to withstand an earthquake so it's not going anywhere. We just have to find the money to keep improving the interior elements.

I suggest these improvement:
1) start with upgrades that will make a positive impression on athletes we want as recruits. We've invested in better locker rooms for several of the teams, a better weight room, a study hall, etc. Keep building these elements because it all starts with getting better student athletes.
2) upgrade the bathroom fixtures and the plumbing so we don't have the "smell", especially in the SE men's room.
3) remove about 1/3 to 1/2 of the northwest bleachers and make them permanent seats and handicap area for those who are having a hard time climbing the stairs. Don't charge extra for these seats. Most of the elderly who need these seats are at least at the Titan Club Level of support so just make it easier and less dangerous to see the games for these people. Some
day I will be one of them.

I don't really care how we "look" on TV except for the fact that the arena looks empty. The reason the lower bowl is not packed is not because they are bleachers. Rather, the lower bowl is not full because we don't get enough students at the games. Except for behind the visitors bench, the entire lower bowl should be students, plus the elderly/handicap section. I think the current set of players are more "likable" than some previous groups and when we start winning the students will follow.

On that point: I realize we pick up some marginal fans because we're on TV. But I think TV hurts our attendance and I wish we didn't have as many TV games. I am sick of sitting in a mostly-empty arena and I think the focus should be more on the game day experience and less on TV. Bring in some of Rogoski's ideas. Bring in some cool halftime shows. I hate to say it, but make the gameday experience more like it is up in the Rochester high school gym.
Last edited by uofdfan1983 on Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby Tacitus651 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:47 pm

I haven’t made it to a game in a long time, but when watching on tv at least a few times this year I noticed the bleachers behind the benches rather empty and then the opposite bleachers nearly full. I’m not saying I have better ideas than you guys that live closer and make the games, I’m just saying perception counts for something. Recruits and their families probably tune into games more than you think. When you see people spread out lounging on bleachers it looks bad. Just my opinion: put seats in the lower bowl, have a nice scorers table and ad space, and make people sit in the seats that people see on tv 95% of the time. I think it’d go a long way.
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby Big Chuck » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:38 pm

We have moved the TV cameras to show the benches and scorers table. We have done nothing to change the seating arrangements. Now by design we are focusing on the visitors bench with only their fans permitted in that area. The scorers/press area that is WAY bigger than the area at Breslin that I am watching on TV right now. We also restrict seating behind our bench. Watching MSU right now all I see are students in that view. We should at least show more bodies in those seats. The area behind the visitors bench should have the least number of seats possible for players tickets only. The rest of the seats should go to our fans. The rest of the required tickets for visitors should be elsewhere in the arena. Move the press area to wherever they hide in at Breslin. Like Breslin, you could replace the benches with revenue producing seats in the side opposite the benches (and away from the TV cameras).
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Re: Campaign for the University meets goal

Postby 1975SHjoe » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:46 am

In regards to TV I believe putting home games on local TV has an adverse impact on attendance, regardless of how many. Winning always helps. If your going to spend dollars on TV pick up road games instead especially now that coach wants to schedule road games with P5 schools. I agree with a senior section on the floor level with chair backs. I find going up the steep stairs more difficult each year.
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