FAIRLEE, Vt. Norwich University has received a gift of $1.1 million from Allen Doyle, a 1971 graduate who is a now a professional golfer on the PGA Champions Tour, and his wife Kate.
Fred Haynes '58, the vice-chairman of the Norwich University Board of Trustees announced the gift this evening at a banquet as part of the festivities for the Fifth Annual Allen Doyle Golf Classic, a charity golf tournament played at Lake Morey Country Club that benefits the Norwich University Blue Line Club and hockey team.
"Allen and Kate's tremendous generosity is going to enable us to begin planning Phase II of the Kreitzberg/Andrews athletic complex," said Haynes. Kreitzberg Arena was opened as the home of the Cadets' highly successful hockey team in 1998, but was not connected to adjacent Andrews Hall, which houses the basketball gymnasium and many of the University's other athletic facilities.
"With this gift, which the Board of Trustees has agreed to match, we will begin the planning for a new main entrance for the hockey arena and the gymnasium, improved concessions area, a new hall of fame room, new office space and classrooms, and perhaps the best news for hockey fans, more restrooms for the arena."
Construction on Phase II of the athletic complex will begin once the University has raised the necessary gifts. The connector is expected to cost between $4 and $5 million. It is hoped that Doyle's gift and the matching funds available will encourage other alumni and friends of the University to contribute to the project. The school hopes to have the project completed by 2007.
"I feel blessed to be in a position to be able to do something like this," said Doyle at the banquet. "If you asked me why I did it, there isn't one or two reasons I can put my finger on. It just feels like the right thing to do. [The donation] isn't going to be able to carry the deal by itself; we need someother prople to step up to help make the connector happen."
Doyle is a 1971 graduate of Norwich University who played both hockey and golf for the Cadets. He graduated as the top scoring defenseman in Norwich history, and was the ECAC golf champion in 1970. He was an inaugural member of Norwich's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993. Doyle currently plays on the PGA Champions tour, where he has won nine tournament titles, including the 2004 Bayer Advantage Celebrity Challenge Pro Am, the 2003 Fleet Boston Classic.
On the PGA Champions Tour, Doyle has recorded seven top-10 finishes in 2004 and has earned nearly $750,000 in prize money so far this year to rank 13th on the tour's money list. Doyle has nearly $10 million in career earnings on the Champions Tour, and was the tour's money-list leader and Schwab Cup champion in 2001, a title that earned him a million-dollar bonus that he donated in its entirety to six charities.
WCAX-TV sportscaster Shawna Lidsky emceed the tournament dinner and awards ceremony following the tournament.
Norwich University's hockey team captured the 2000 and 2003 NCAA Division III men's ice hockey
championships. The Cadets posted a 24-4 record last season, and hosted the Division III Frozen Four for the second consecutive season, before losing to eventual national champion Middlebury by a 3-2 double-overtime score in the national semifinals.