UW Difference Makers Campaign Nearing Completion
* University of Wyoming press release
LARAMIE -- A significant investment by Casper’s Double 4 Foundation and Dave and Melanie True continues the significant momentum of the Difference Makers Campaign, University of Wyoming Athletics’ drive to raise millions in private support to renovate the westside of War Memorial Stadium and build a new competition pool facility.
The major gift brings the campaign to almost 75 percent of UW’s $20 million fundraising goal. The private support from the Pokes dedicated fans and supporters will be combined with a significant investment by the state of Wyoming and the university to complete the two facilities.
“There is no question that this will be an advantage to the state of Wyoming and its citizens,” says Dave True, Double 4 Foundation Trustee and University of Wyoming Trustee. “Major athletic programs bring a huge benefit not only to the institution, but to the students. As a student, a major part of your experience is outside the classroom and a good program at the Division I level contributes to that experience.”
Once finished, the westside renovations will provide fans with an enhanced experience, featuring premium loge seating, chairback seating in the lower stands, and improved concessions, restrooms, and lighting. Additionally, the renovation of the press box and media area will elevate the university’s image, as national media outlets converge on UW to cover the Cowboys.
This plan—which has been in the works for five years—also includes a new competitive pool facility featuring a 50-meter pool, locker rooms, and seating areas, something Athletic Director Tom Burman said has been sorely needed at UW. Although the John Corbett Building has served the teams for more than three decades, the current facility is more than 50-years old and is woefully inadequate to support a collegiate swimming and diving program. Additionally, this facility will serve the youth of the state, offering a 50-meter training opportunity that is currently unavailable in the southern Wyoming.
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“The current facilities don’t measure up,” says True. “If we as a state and a four-year institution want to be competitive to attract fans, athletes, and students, we have to have top-notch facilities.”
The True family’s support of Wyoming athletics is a family tradition. Their generous contributions have not only funded critical infrastructure developments and state-of-the-art facilities but have also provided opportunities to countless student-athletes.
“Their commitment to Wyoming athletics is not only measured in buildings but also in the pride that characterizes the Wyoming Cowboy family, a testament to their lasting impact,” says Burman.
At universities nationwide, investments in athletic programs hold a great significance, serving as the foundation upon which loyalty and enduring connections are built.
“Especially for Wyoming-based families, successful athletic programs build a sense of loyalty that you can’t build any other way,” True continues. “Athletics is often the first experience that the youth of Wyoming have with the university.”
With the gift, the Double 4 Foundation joins other major supporters for the project including the late Susie McMurry, Cody and Patsy Ritchie, Admiral Beverage, Bruce and Kathy Bummer, Terry and Missy Gottberg, Tad and Ann Herz, Pat and Nancy Higgins, Eric and Laura Marsh, Doug and Susan Samuelson, Bill and Victoria Scarlett, Wyoming Sports Properties, and two anonymous donors.
Other notable gifts include Al Carollo, Jr. and Carolyn Carollo, Clayton and Kandy Hartman, Scott and Anne Macdonald, Dale and Paula Strickland, Don and Betty Walters, and Roy and Caryl Cline. Overall, more than 50 donations for the project have been received, including gifts from four donors who have made their first major commitment to UW.
War Memorial Stadium opened in 1950 and is the oldest stadium in the Mountain West Conference. The stadium is the highest NCAA Division I football stadium in the country at an elevation of 7,220 feet and has experienced extensive renovations and upgrades over the past decade, including the addition of the Wildcatter Stadium Club and Suites in 2010, and the construction of the McMurry High Altitude Performance Center in 2018.
The westside renovation will be completed in two separate phases, beginning in the fall of 2023, with a scheduled date of completion in the summer of 2025. The pool is scheduled to be completed in 2026.
For more information about the Difference Makers campaign, contact Tom Burman or Randy Welniak at the Cowboy Joe Club by calling (307) 766-6242.
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