Giving to Brown

Dedicating the New Aquatics and Fitness Center

Members of the Corporation, administrative leadership, and more than 500 guests gathered on May 25th to dedicate the entities comprising the new Aquatics and Fitness Center: the Nelson Fitness Center, the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center, the David J. Zucconi ’55 Varsity Strength and Conditioning Center, the Fredric B. Garonzik ’64 Fitness Area, and the Ittleson Quadrangle.

The ceremony, held on a platform anchored within the state-of-the-art pool, featured Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch ’76, President Ruth J. Simmons, Founder and Senior Partner of Robert A.M. Stern Architects Robert A.M. Stern, outgoing Director of Athletics Michael Goldberger, student-athletes James Hunter ’12 and Rachel Peterson ’13, a special two-part video, and the Brown Band. The video paid tribute to several of the individuals who, through their generosity made this complex possible—Jonathan M. Nelson ’77, P’07, P’09; H. Anthony (Tony) Ittleson ’60, LHD ’98 hon., P ’89, P’90; the late Fredric B. Garonzik ’64; Daniel S. O’Connell ’76, P ’05, P’13; and the estate of the late Raymond L. Moran ’41. Following the formal dedication and remarks, guests convened in the Swig Lobby of the Nelson Fitness Center where they were offered a variety of fruit juices, smoothies and a selection of healthy hors d’oeuvres.

Brown is phenomenal at providing a very comprehensive education for our students,” says Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn, “and this fitness center adds a new piece and new possibilities in bringing students, faculty, and staff together which sparks different conversations, collaborations, and learning.”

The facility is about excellence,” agrees Head Football Coach Phil Estes, “and I think Brown has always been about excellence. Do it and do it well and be the best you can be.”

Excellence abounds in another way, too, for the new Aquatics and Fitness Center, by virtue of its being “green.” The center features the largest hybrid solar-powered electrical and heating system in the United States, the first to be installed at any university in the country. The new facilities are on target for LEED Silver certification.

A highlight for many long-time residents of the area is the reappearance of the cupola and clock tower that once sat atop Marvel Gymnasium. Saved in 2002 and refurbished by the University, it now proudly crowns the building—a powerful symbol of Brown’s dedication to adaptive reuse. “The Marvel cupola was an East Side landmark for over 60 years. Hard to believe that we would see the reincarnation we have today,” says Sports Archivist Peter Mackie '59.

Making that which is new seem almost like an old friend.