John K. Mara, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Giants, and Steve Tisch, Chairman and Executive Vice President of the Giants, pose alongside a plaque honoring their fathers and late Giants co-owners, Wellington Mara and Bob Tisch. (Photo by Fred Doyle)
ALBANY, N.Y. (August 16, 2007) -- The University at Albany has dedicated the University's football practice field in honor of Wellington T. Mara and Preston Robert Tisch, the late co-owners of the New York Giants of the National Football League. Mara and Tisch were instrumental in making the University at Albany home to the Giants' summer training camp beginning in 1996. The Giants are committed to summer training at the University through the summer of 2008 with an option year for 2009.
Both Mara and Tisch were highly supportive of the Giants in Albany, often attending the welcome luncheons sponsored by the team to recognize the efforts of the University community during training camp. Mara, who passed away on October 25, 2005, was associated with the Giants for 81 consecutive seasons, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997. His father Tim founded the Giants in 1925. Tisch, who died on November 15, 2005, was a successful businessman and philanthropist, as well as a former Postmaster General of the United States. He became a co-owner of the Giants in 1991.
"Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch were passionately devoted to the New York Giants, as we discovered during the team's Summer Training Camps at the University," said UAlbany Officer in Charge and Provost Susan Herbst. "As tribute to both men, who so greatly enjoyed watching the progress of their football team during the summers in Albany, we will rename the UAlbany football team's practice field, on the Western Avenue side of campus, Wellington Mara - Bob Tisch Football Practice Field."
A plaque and bench with the new field name were unveiled at a recognition ceremony co-hosted by Herbst and Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings.
"In significant ways, Wellington Mara and Robert Tisch have profoundly left their marks on this University and the City of Albany," said Jennings. "Not a day goes by in which the connection of this campus and this city to the New York Giants isn't mentioned and admired by both students and faculty here at UAlbany and the greater Albany community at-large."
"Giants training camp has become a summer institution in Albany, and for that we have Wellington Mara and Bob Tisch to thank," Governor Spitzer said. "They were instrumental in bringing the team here, as we mark the twelfth successful year of Giants preseason practice at the University at Albany."
"The University at Albany has been a wonderful home for the New York Giants for the past 12 years," said John K. Mara, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Giants and son of Wellington Mara. "The Mara family is thankful to UAlbany for acknowledgment of my father's commitment to the University as an institution and as a summer home for the Giants."
"The Giants organization has been proud to take up its summer residence at the University at Albany since 1996," said Steve Tisch, Chairman and Executive Vice President of the Giants and son of Bob Tisch. "On behalf of the Tisch family, we are grateful for the recognition of my father and his dedication to UAlbany as both a home away from home for our team and a place of excellence in higher learning."
"We have the entire Giants organization to thank for the creation of the New York Giants Scholarship, which has now assisted 11 young Capital Region students in need since the program began in 1997," said Lee A. McElroy, Jr., Vice President for Athletic Administration and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. "Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch have been enormously missed."
The Wellington Mara - Bob Tisch Football Practice Field is used by the Giants during summer training camp and by the UAlbany football team during the academic year.