BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A new sports performance training facility
offering twice the space for physical training by University at
Buffalo student-athletes will open this fall thanks to a $500,000
gift from UB alumnus Robert G. Morris and his wife, Carol L.
The new "lab space" for athletes will allow some larger
intercollegiate squads, such as the UB Bulls football team, to
train as a team for the first time and enhance their ability to
compete at the Mid-American Conference championship level.
The Robert G. and Carol L. Morris Sports Performance Center,
which will be located adjacent to UB Stadium on the North (Amherst)
Campus, will double the space for intercollegiate student-athlete
sports performance training from 6,000 square feet to 12,000 square
feet. Construction of the facility will begin in July. It is
scheduled to open before the end of October.
"My wife, Carol, and I are very pleased to support the efforts
of the University at Buffalo Division of Athletics and the vision
that President John Simpson and Warde Manuel have shared with us,"
said Robert Morris, who received a bachelor's degree in economics
from UB in 1967.
"That vision, one that promotes the growth of both the
individual student-athlete on and off the field, and the positive
role that athletics can play as a vital part of the university, is
one that we share with great enthusiasm.
"As our student-athletes grow in the outstanding classroom
setting that UB offers, it is also critically important that their
athletic 'lab space' -- that is, the time they spend conditioning
and strengthening themselves -- offers the same opportunity for
The Morrises previously provided UB with a major gift to
establish the Signature Center of Excellence in 21st Century Music.
That gift, which also provides support for the university's annual
June in Buffalo and a new graduate-student performance group, also
will enable the Department of Music in the College of Arts and
Sciences to refurbish Baird Hall on UB's North (Amherst) Campus and
to purchase and refurbish musical instruments.
"UB is deeply grateful to Bob and Carol Morris for this most
recent demonstration of their ongoing commitment to UB -- a gift
that will enable our student-athletes to perform to their fullest
potential in every aspect of their development as UB students,"
said UB President John B. Simpson.
"One of the most vital lessons UB teaches our students is the
value of committing oneself to achieving one's personal best --
whether in the classroom or laboratory, on the stage or on the
field of athletic competition. That ideal, in essence, is also the
spirit that guides the vision of excellence we are pursuing through
UB 2020 as we continue to set our sights farther for our growth as
an institution. The generosity of Bob and Carol Morris is helping
us to realize this vision."
Warde J. Manuel, director of the UB Division of Athletics, said
"there is no single greater area of importance for the growth and
improvement of a student-athlete in college than strength and
conditioning. While we want to continue to recruit higher echelon
student-athletes, the growth that occurs within them once they are
here is tremendously important."
Manuel indicated that the Robert G. and Carol L. Morris Sports
Performance Center will be critical to the day-to-day strength and
conditioning efforts of the more than 500 student-athletes that
wear the Blue and White for the university.
He noted that the facility, which will feature state-of-the-art
equipment for both aerobic and strength training, will allow larger
intercollegiate squads, like the Bulls' football, rowing and track
and field teams, to train as a team, maximizing the time demands of
Robert Morris serves on the Dean's Advisory Council of the UB
College of Arts and Sciences and is a new director of the
University at Buffalo Foundation. He is a partner and director of
equity investments at Lord, Abbett & Co., an independent
investment management firm, in Jersey City, N.J., that manages more
than $93.5 billion in assets. Before joining Lord, Abbett & Co.
in 1991, he was vice president and manager of equity and equity
investment research at Chase Manhattan Bank.
The Morris family has a three-generational tie to UB. Robert
Morris' parents received degrees from the university and one of his
and Carol's sons, Alexander, earned bachelor's and master's degrees
in architecture from the university in 1991 and 1994,