SEFCU and UAlbany Forge a 10-Year Partnership
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Brian DePasquale (518) 442-3072, University at Albany
John DeCelle (518) 464-5336, SEFCU
ALBANY, N.Y. (November 1, 2006) -- SEFCU, the largest credit union in the Capital Region, and the University at Albany today announced a $2.75 million commitment to name the university's Recreation and Convocation Center, in addition to promotional opportunities, for a 10-year period. The facility, to be known as the SEFCU Arena, is the home for UAlbany's men's and women's basketball teams. The SEFCU Arena will continue to expand its role as a major venue for community events, sporting events and university activities. The arena has seating for capacity crowds of 4,538.
"The University at Albany is very grateful to SEFCU for believing in our students and the success of our athletic program," said University at Albany's Officer in Charge Susan Herbst. "Today's commitment to name the SEFCU Arena is a tribute to the power of public-private partnerships. We look forward to a very prosperous and fruitful relationship and to welcoming many more Great Danes fans to UAlbany's SEFCU Arena."
"SEFCU is excited about entering into this partnership with UAlbany, a true leader in our community," said Michael J. Castellana, SEFCU's president. "This unique collaboration brings together public and private entities to work together to develop programs and events that will enrich the UAlbany community and the entire Capital Region."
"SEFCU's commitment to higher education and the Capital Region community is outstanding," UAlbany Vice President and Director of Athletics Lee McElroy said. "This long-term partnership will not only enhance our growth as a Division I intercollegiate athletics program, but benefit the student-athletes, alumni, and fans that use SEFCU Arena. UAlbany and SEFCU will work together to utilize resources to make this partnership a significant investment in our community."
"On behalf of the University at Albany Foundation, we are grateful for SEFCU's generous support of UAlbany. This commitment will dramatically enhance opportunities for our student athletes and all those who enjoy the University's sports programs. The Foundation is pleased to be a partner in this wonderful public-private collaboration that benefits both the campus and our community," remarked George R. Hearst III, president of the University at Albany Foundation.
"Today's groundbreaking announcement is a critical move to creating even greater bonds among University at Albany students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community at large," said George Philip, University at Albany Council chair. "We are delighted to be working with Michael Castellana, our community partner and distinguished alumnus, on this most exciting initiative." Philip noted that the University at Albany University Council had approved the naming of the SEFCU Arena and that the State University Board of Trustees would take up a similar resolution at its November Meeting.
UAlbany opened the Recreation and Convocation Center in the spring of 1992 as an $11 million state-of-the-art facility. The playing surface on the arena's three basketball courts and the surrounding .11-mile indoor track were completely renovated in December 2004. The facility hosted last year's America East Conference Men's Basketball Championship before a sold-out crowd and traditionally has been the site for the University's graduate commencement, the opening round of the Section II Boys' High School Basketball Tournament, and Section II indoor track competition. In addition, rock and pop concerts, with such musical personalities as Sheryl Crow and Green Day, have been held in the arena.
Established in 1934, SEFCU is among the 70 largest credit unions in the United States with more than $1.3 billion in assets and over 143,000 members in the Capital Region, Binghamton, Syracuse, and Buffalo. In addition to standard deposit and loan products, SEFCU offers 24-hour banking by phone and Internet, electronic bill payment and eStatements, investment and insurance services, and a full-range of business banking and lending services.
The University at Albany is an internationally recognized public research university with a broad mission of undergraduate and graduate education, research and service. More than 17,000 diverse students are enrolled in ten schools and colleges. UAlbany athletics sponsors 19 intercollegiate teams, including eight for men and 11 for women, at the NCAA Division I level. Since upgrading to that status in 1999, the Great Danes have won 17 conference championships and made several NCAA appearances.