Whittier Athletic Center Has Highly Anticipated Grand Opening
WHITTIER, Calif. – Whittier College President Sharon Herzberger, and Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of Athletics Robert Coleman announced the opening of the Graham Athletic Welcome Center, Hall of Fame Conference Room, and newly renovated Lillian Slade Aquatic Center during a grand opening ceremony on Friday, February 10.
Dozens of student athletes, alumni, trustees, and friends of the College were on hand to help with the grand opening and dedication including Bill and Jan Woods, Ruth B. Shannon, Alan ’71 and Irene Lund, Jim Parks, Bill ’55 and Harriet Harris, Joyce ’77 and Peter Mullenbach, John and Laurie ’84 Peel, Vince Daigneault ’85, Mitch ’96 and Lyn ‘96 Carty, and board president Don
Herrema ’74, among others.
The Lillian Aquatic Center is home to the Poet water polo and swimming and diving programs. It features a 43 meter x 25 yard pool, seating for 500 spectators, a Daktronics four color video display scoreboard, 5 banks of Musco lighting, locker rooms for the men and women teams and two offices staffing the Director of Aquatics and the entire aquatics staff.
The new Gateway Bridge features a stunning new walkway, built with the generous support of John ’45 and Jan Cauffman, that allows viewers to watch tennis matches and aquatics from inside the glass entrance.
One of the highlights to the day included the unveiling of the Gateway Bridge Plaque, which was named after President Herzberger and her husband David.
“David and I received the surprise of our lives on Friday afternoon! John and Jan Cauffman are some of the most generous, most humble people we know. We are so honored that they chose to name the Gateway Bridge after us. David and I will treasure this memory” said Herzberger.
“I am so happy every time a student or Whittier parent comes up to me to applaud the new facility. And for the thousands of visitors a year whose only exposure to Whittier is in this little quadrant of the campus, we sure make a good first impression!”
The Hall of Fame will also be operated as a conference room which includes colored illuminated photos of past and current student-athletes, a handmade conference table with the programs’ prestigious logo prominently displayed and a 52’ interactive TV displaying career highlights, and photos of all Hall of Fame inductees.
The Welcome Center inside the GAC includes wonderful viewpoints of the Richard Ettinger Tennis Courts and the Lillian Slade Aquatic Center, a welcome desk that will be manned with sports information personnel, and two additional administrative offices.
The Hall of Fame Conference room and Welcome Center can hold up to 3,000 people. The GAC also houses the Dave Jacobs Court, George Allen Fitness Center, Sports medicine staff, Kinesiology and Nutrition Studies Department, coaching staff offices, and team locker rooms for home and visiting teams.
Construction on the $9 million facility began in the fall of 2011 and the grand opening involved over 200 people, including numerous individuals who were instrumental in the development and completion of the project.