Alumni Support Makes New Swimming Scoreboard A Reality
Sept. 2, 2009
Contact: Martin Rickman
A university is only as strong as its students and alumni, and in the case of the Cleveland State University swimming and diving team, that strength has been manifested through the ongoing Robert F. Busbey Natatorium Champions Campaign.
The three phase initiative includes instillation of a state-of-the-art graphics technology scoreboard, a new record board and a historical display that will document the storied tradition and success of the Vikings' swimming and diving program.
"Completing this first phase does more than put a new scoreboard on a wall," Director of Development Mike Dolsak said. "It opens the doors to fundraising for CSU Athletics. It proves that these projects can get done, and more importantly, done with private dollars."
In just under a year, over $120,000 has been raised through private gifts, allowing the completion of phase one--the purchase of a brand new scoreboard that will provide the ability to do video replay, put pictures of swimmers on the screen, as well as promote future events in the aquatics area.
"The new display project has been in the making for the last several years," head coach Wally Morton said. "We have embarked on a project to bring the natatorium to a top level in swimming and diving which will allow us to have a facility among the best in college swimming. This will also give us the chance to hold top regional, national and international events."
The second phase is nearing completion as well. The existing record board is in disarray and new records are going unnoticed. With $25,000 more left to raise, a new record board will further the rich history of the team, which has earned 19 conference championships, NCAA championship contenders and an Olympian. This has mostly been overseen by Morton, who is the winningest coach in Cleveland State swimming history.
With the successful purchase of the new scoreboard in under a year, the display will be up and running by the start of the 2009-10 season when the Vikings host Green Bay on Oct. 24.
"I want to thank everyone involved," Morton said "Every gift to the project is a significant gift. It is a statement that CSU swimming and diving matters, for both the community and the university."
The campaign was spearheaded by the leadership gift of Joe Stockwell. Stockwell is in the Hall of Fame at Cleveland State and is a principal at Odyssey Management Capital in Palo Alto, CA. He has remained very involved with Cleveland State over the years and is a member of the board of the Busbey Charitable Foundation. He was also a driving force in putting all of the pieces together by jumpstarting and staying close to the plan.
Also directly involved were Lochlainn Ohaimhirgin, Dave Guinther, Peter Reardon and Brian Bailey, as well as a large number of individual donors who provided the backbone for the campaign to be realized.
"This project is a shining example of the power of an engaged and supportive alumni base," Director of Athletics Lee Reed said. "The enhancements to historic Busbey Natatorium will directly impact the quality of the current swimmers' and divers' experiences at Cleveland State and will set a positive example for all of our alumni to follow. It is truly a great time to be a Viking."
The second phase is well on its way and donations are being received every day. Morton's passion for the initiative and for the program itself is immense, and that fervor is contagious, as seen through the munificence of the alumni and the ability to make this dream a reality.
"Every Viking is a champion," Morton said, "from the walk-on to the All-American because of the work they put in and the team effort that they put forth. Everyone should be proud to be a part of Cleveland State swimming.
"I am overwhelmed by the generosity and it truly touches my heart. I cannot thank these people enough for what they are doing for the university that I really love."
For more information on the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium Champions Campaign or to make a donation, contact Mike Dolsak at (216)875-9714 or firstname.lastname@example.org.