Alum gives $100,000 for weights
The College's effort to create a separate weight room and fitness facility for intercollegiate athletes has received a huge shot in the arm from an alumnus and his wife, who have agreed to donate approximately $100,000 earmarked for the project.
Athletic Director Dick Jaeger said John Manley '40 and his wife Carla will provide the funds -- specifically intended for the construction of a new exercise room, to be called the John and Carla Manley Training Center, and for the purchase of new aerobic equipment for Kresge.
An official announcement is expected from the College today.
The Manley Center, which could be finished by this fall, will be housed within Alumni Gymnasium, in the space currently occupied by some old squash courts, Jaeger said.
The new facility will be exclusively for Dartmouth's intercollegiate athletes, leaving the upgraded Kresge free for other College undergraduates.
By all accounts, Kresge currently has greatly outdated equipment, and it is severely overcrowded because it serves the entire undergraduate community in addition to varsity and junior varsity athletes, Jaeger said.
Dean of the College Lee Pelton last month told The Dartmouth that the athletic department's aim was "moving the intercollegiate program out of Kresge into the west gym and renovating and refurbishing Kresge for a fitness center for recreational and casual use by students, faculty and staff."
The Manleys' gift represents the culmination of this "Kresge Weight Room & Equipment Project."
Jaeger said both Kresge and the new facility will be refurbished with new training equipment -- with Kresge placing an emphasis on aerobic machines like the Stair Master and the new Manley Training Center focusing on "the strength factor."
The donation marks a victory of sorts for the Student Assembly and its president, Jon Heavey '97, who brought the weight room issue into the public consciousness last term and challenged the administration to improve Kresge.
Heavey said students have complained loudly about what some have called the "archaic and dilapidated" condition of Kresge, and the College's action demonstrates that "students definitely have a voice in the College."
"It's just a matter of focusing attention to a concern," Heavey said, and administrators are likely to "willingly and actively respond." Heavey specifically singled out Jaeger and Pelton as actively coordinating the Manleys' gift in response to pressure from students.
In addition to the Manleys' gift, the College intends to give $8,500 toward the "Kresge Weight Room & Equipment Project" -- funds that were appropriated last month after the Assembly built a pyramid out of "pennies for poor Parkhurst" last month.
The Assembly had placed tennis-ball canisters filled with 70,000 pennies on the front steps of Parkhurst Administration Building, as well as over 1,000 signed petitions challenging the administration to make a contribution toward the weight room.
Jaeger said the Manleys wished to maintain a modest profile and did not wish to give an interview, but he said they were aware of the recent student demands to alleviate the pressure on Kresge.
Last week Jaeger visited the Manleys at their home in Hanover, where he said they expressed interest in making a gift.
"Carla Manley is very into fitness and training," said Jaeger. Jaeger said Manley is "thrilled" that the donation will benefit the quality of student life.
Mr. and Mrs. Manely have a history of generously supporting Dartmouth and the Hanover community.