The Colorado College community and the city of Colorado Springs celebrated a historic moment on Saturday with the major donors who made it possible.
At the dedication ceremony for CC’s new Ed Robson Arena and Mike and Barbara Yalich Student Services Center, which will benefit both the college and the city, 250 guests had the chance to tour the new facilities. and to hear from former CC hockey players and a major donor. Ed Robson ’54, P’79, G’11, and long-time defender of the CC Barbara Neeley Yalich ’53.
Colorado College President L. Song Richardson, City Mayor John Suthers, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Jeff Keller ’91, P’22, praised Robson and the Yalich’s long-standing dedication to Colorado College and acknowledged a strengthened relationship with Colorado Springs at the afternoon event.
“This is an exceptional and wonderful time in college history,” Keller said. “I look around the crowd here and see the relationship we’ve built between the city and the college. It is truly remarkable. “
The new 3,407-seat arena serves as the first-ever home on campus for CC’s NCAA Division I men’s hockey program. The Tiger hockey team will play Robson for the first time in an exhibition on Saturday October 2 against the Air Force Academy, before officially starting the season at home against St. Lawrence University on Friday 8 and Saturday 8. October. 9.
The state-of-the-art complex on the Colorado College campus is part of the Colorado Springs’ City for Champions (C4C) initiative, which uses revenues made available by the state’s 2013 Regional Tourism Act as seed capital to invest in new facilities to attract tourists to the region.
“It connects Colorado Springs and Colorado College in a significant way,” said Richardson. “It wouldn’t have happened without the support of the city, led by Mayor John Suthers. “
Construction of the facility, which began in February 2020, was made possible by Robson’s core donation along with funding from C4C and many other donations.
Robson was active in hockey and baseball when he was at CC. After graduation, he served for five years in the United States Marine Corps, during which time he was granted leave to represent the United States team on the men’s hockey team. of the United States at the 1956 Olympic Winter Games in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
In addition to the new hockey arena, the adjacent Yalich Center includes the school’s health and wellness services, the college bookstore and mail center, as well as an art studio and fitness area. restoration.
Thanks to a donation from the Inasmuch Foundation, the center honors the legacy of Barbara Neeley Yalich ’53, a renowned community leader in the Pikes Peak area and a Colorado College champion, and her late husband Milo “Mike” Yalich ’50, a longtime CC fan who captained the 1949-50 Tiger hockey team until the school’s first NCAA national title.
Barbara Yalich has dedicated her life to public service. She was the first Executive Director of the Health Association of Pikes Peak Region and Executive Director of the El Paso County Mental Health Association. She returned to CC several times throughout her career, eventually serving as Vice President for College Development and Relations until her retirement in 1994.
“She has truly spent her life advancing the college so that it is better able to serve students of each generation,” Keller said.
The arena is comparable in size and scope to those of other colleges and universities with similar DI hockey programs and study enrollments. Now able to train and compete on campus rather than across town, student-athletes will gain time and efficiency, while the convenient downtown location will boost game attendance in the Toronto community. campus and local fans. CC Athletics said the facility will benefit recruiting efforts and increase the Tigers’ competitiveness in the National College Hockey Conference, while better serving the entire campus community.
The multi-purpose arena, which includes a multi-purpose event and meeting space with an outdoor plaza, will be available for large and small arts and music events and student life activities.
“Our ability to better serve students has been transformed,” said CC vice president and athletic director Lesley Irvine. “This is a truly multi-purpose facility that will benefit the entire campus and the communities of Colorado Springs as a whole. “
“We want to provide space for a lot of different things,” said Robson Arena executive director Colin Bailey. “This applies to both Colorado College and the Colorado Springs community.”
The resort is the last C4C site to open after the Air Force Academy Visitors Center, the US Olympic and Paralympic Museum, the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center and Weidner Field, home professional football Switchbacks the franchise.
“It never gets old to celebrate the opening of one of our City for Champions facilities,” said Suthers. “The City for Champions effort will continue to transform downtown Colorado Springs and strengthen our city’s reputation as a leader in sport. “
This cooperation led to a historic day for the college and the city, but the CC installation may never have seen the light of day without the support of Robson, whose financial backing helped turn an idea on paper into reality. .
“I am really touched by it all,” he said. “It’s spectacular.”