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Reprinted from: Green Bay Press-Gazette

December 29, 2004

Gift boosts UWGB sports-center financing

Donor triggers state aid for facility project

By Cynthia Hodnett

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is expected to announce today that it has received a donation from the George F. Kress Foundation that will help improve the university's sports and events center.

The donation enables the university to meet its goal of raising $7.5 million in private funds by Friday to support the facility, which the university has named the Kress Events Center.

Steve Swan, assistant chancellor for university advancement at UWGB, wouldn't provide the exact amount of the donation but called it "sizable."

Because UWGB met the goal of raising private donations by Friday, it will also receive another $7.5 million from the state. Overall, the university wants to raise $10 million in private donations. Students are providing $15 million in segregated fees for the new center.

Kress, founder of Green Bay Packaging Inc., was a longtime supporter of education and other local causes.

"This donation from the Kress family is a Christmas present to UWGB and we appreciate their commitment to the university," said Chancellor Bruce Shepard.

The $32.5 million center will be a renovation and expansion of UW-Green Bay's Phoenix Sports Center, which opened in 1976.

UWGB officials have said the new center would seat 3,000 to 4,000 people.

"Students have been on board since day one and now they are going to start seeing where their money is going," said Jonathan Virant, president of UWGB Student Government Association.

Earlier this month, UWGB announced it will name the multipurpose playing court at the new center after Robert and Carol Bush in honor of a donation made by the couple to the project.

University officials said the university needed a new building to accommodate the increasing number of students and to host student events and activities such as commencement and Phoenix women's basketball games.

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