The fundraising campaign for the Events Center at Chadron State College has received a boost from two former Eagles who announced gifts toward the effort Friday.
Dr. Larry Lytle of Rapid City, S.D., announced during a luncheon at CSC that he will donate $100,000 toward the facility and Friday’s commencement speaker, Lee Baumann of St. Louis, Mo., revealed a gift of $50,000.
Both are members of the Athletic Hall of Fame who remain involved at CSC. Lytle is a past recipient of the college’s Distinguished Service Award and Baumann earned CSC’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
The Events Center is one of two facility projects planned for the $11 million Vision 2011 campaign, which also includes funds for the Chadron State Foundation’s endowments and annual fund. The Events Center will add 94,000 square feet of floor space to the Armstrong Building, which originally opened in 1964. The project also calls for renovation of the existing portion of the building. The campaign is scheduled to wrap up during the fall of 2011, the college’s centennial year.
The donors will receive naming rights in honor of the gifts. The lecture room in the new facility will be named the “Lytle Family Lecture Hall.” The tunnel in the new facility will be named the “Bob and Babe Baumann Family Entrance to Success,” in honor of Baumann’s parents.
Plans for the new athletic facility include a 22,600-square-foot arena with seating for 2,900 spectators. It will more the double the size of the existing facility. In addition to the new arena, the plan includes space for classrooms, offices for athletic and sports medicine staff, locker rooms, concessions, ticket sales and storage. Most of the existing Armstrong Building, which opened in 1964, will be retained, with the new construction adjoining the existing facility to the south.
Dr. Janie Park, CSC president, said gifts such as ones from Lytle and Baumann are special because of the donors’ strong ties to the institution.
“Considering that Larry and Lee created so many memories for Eagles fans on the court at CSC, it’s appropriate that their names will be connected with our new athletic facility,” she said.
Both Lytle and Baumann said CSC remains near to their hearts, and that they are donating toward the campaign to help ensure that CSC will be able to provide the opportunities for future student-athletes similar to the ones they had.
“I remember the land being cleared and the first bricks being laid on the Ross Armstrong complex,” said Baumann, while delivering Friday’s commencement address. “This building has met the needs of this surrounding area for 45 years but needs a facelift. That is part of the reason I am so proud to be part of the Vision 2011 comprehensive campaign.”
Lytle echoed Baumann’s sentiments after touring the Armstrong Building on Friday.
“It’s been a great facility, but we need a new one and I’m glad to help,” he said.
Lytle is a retired dentist who is the developer and patent holder of the QLaser System for pain control and healing. He graduated from CSC in 1956 and the University of Nebraska College of Dentistry in 1964. He also earned a doctorate from the International University of Nutritional Education at Huntington Beach, Calif., in 1979. While playing basketball for the Eagles, he earned all-Nebraska College Conference honors in basketball twice.
Baumann, who earned a bachelor’s degree from CSC in 1973, is senior vice president for State Farm Insurance Companies, and is responsible for all aspects of the company in its five-state central zone. The market generates $4.8 billion in annual revenue, with more than 7 million policies and accounts serviced by 1,540 agents and an additional 3,600 employees. He was a nine-time letter winner for the Eagles, playing football, basketball and baseball.
—Justin Haag, CSC Information Services