BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo Division of Athletics announced today that former UB hockey player Tunney Murchie and his family have committed a $1 million gift to be used toward capital projects in UB Stadium and Alumni Arena.
This is one of the largest single commitments in UB Division of Athletics history. In recognition of the gift, UB Athletics will recommend to the UB Council that the football center at UB Stadium be named "The Murchie Family Football Center."
Murchie is owner and president of Lackawanna Products Corporation in Clarence, NY. He is a 1975 graduate of Buffalo with a degree in management and also earned his MBA from UB in 1976. He played hockey for the Bulls from 1971-73 and was an assistant coach with the program in 1974. His wife, Deanna, is a 1974 graduate of Buffalo with a degree in public health.
"The entire Murchie family felt this was the right moment to make a significant gift to UB. I have worked closely with the Athletics Development staff for many years and it became evident to us the impact this gift would have on the University," Murchie said. "My family and I are excited to be part of the on-going efforts to improve the facilities at UB for all sports programs."
Under the leadership of John Lambert, the Division of Athletics has determined the multiple projects that will be impacted by this gift. Initially, a new entrance to the UB football office center along with visual identity upgrades will be completed. Construction on several other multi-purpose spaces will begin later this year.
"The Murchie family continues to be tremendous supporters of our athletics program here at UB," Lambert said. "I've enjoyed getting to know Tunney and his family personally over the past 12 years and I'm excited to work with him in determining the projects this gift can have the greatest impact on."
Murchie has been a suite holder at UB Stadium since 1999 and made a tribute gift in 2009 to name the newly renovated basketball and volleyball practice facility after his long-time hockey coach Edward Wright.
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo Division of Athletics has announced today it has received a significant estate gift in support of its football program. Former UB football player, John (Jack, Bear) Dempsey committed his estate to the UB Division of Athletics to be used towards growing the 1958 Lambert Cup Team Football Endowed Scholarship.
Established in 2009, this significant gift will now raise the overall scholarship to over $500,000. In recognition of this gift, Dempsey will be honored as a member of the Bulls Legacy Program.
Dempsey graduated from UB in 1960 and began teaching in the Niagara Falls schools shortly after. An educator, coach, mentor and friend, his life's accomplishments were celebrated during a memorial service at UB in October after his passing.
Dempsey was a member of the celebrated 1958 Lambert Cup Football Team that was invited to play in the Tangerine Bowl – the school's first bowl game invitation. However, the team was informed that the site of the bowl game had a strict rule that blacks and whites could not play on the same field at the same time. This would mean that Willie Evans and Mike Wilson, both African-American and two of the team's best players, would not be able to play in the game. Following a meeting, Dempsey and his teammates decided that if Evans and Wilson couldn't play in the game, no one on the team would participate. Thus, turning down the bid to play in the Tangerine Bowl.
The Eden, NY native was instrumental in establishing the 1958 Lambert Cup Team Football Scholarship, given each year to a football student-athlete who exemplifies the ideals of the 1958 team.
"I believe that all of the 1958 team members would agree that nobody worked harder than Jack to keep his Lambert Cup teammates together over the past 53 years," 1958 teammate Fred Kogut said. "His generous charitable gift to the 1958 UB Lambert Cup Team Scholarship Fund is a clear statement of his love for his teammates, UB and the game of football. Through his gift, Jack ensures the team will live on in perpetuity in the hope and expectation that future players and teams will carry on the team's noteworthy legacy - teammate loyalty in the face of injustice."
A loyal and active alumnus of UB, Dempsey was a long-time football season ticket holder and philanthropic supporter.
"Jack will always be a special part of the UB Athletics Family. I'm honored to have known the Bear," Interim Athletic Director John Lambert said. "This legacy gift will forever connect him to our Athletics program and will be instrumental in providing scholarships for deserving football student-athletes."
John Syty earned the inaugural 1958 Lambert Cup Team Football Endowed Scholarship in 2011. This year's recipient will be named at the UB Academic Celebration on May 1, 2012.
The Bulls Legacy Program recognizes a distinguished group of donors who have a common belief in the principle of preserving the uniquely broad-based athletics program at the University at Buffalo. Through the generosity of their gifts, these individuals have insured, in perpetuity, the unique opportunity to experience what it means to compete as a student-athlete and proudly wear the blue and white for our university.