Alumni Spark Natatorium's New Look

Alumni Spark Natatorium
Alumni Spark Natatorium's New Look April 11, 2016

An impressive spruce-up, initiated by 39-season coach Wally Morton and alumni Dave Guinther, BSEE ’69, and Joe Stockwell, BBA ’81, gives CSU's Natatorium a facelift.

Since 1973, Robert F. Busbey Natatorium has been considered one of the elite swimming facilities in the nation, enjoying a rich history of championships and outstanding swimmers.

Now, thanks to generous alumni and friends, the natatorium has a spectacular new look with much-needed enhancements ensuring continued success for CSU’s swimming and diving program.

The spruce-up, initiated by 39-season coach Wally Morton and alumni Dave Guinther, BSEE ’69, and Joe Stockwell, BBA ’81, took place in two
phases – the Champions Campaign and the Heritage Project.

The Champions Campaign, started in 2009, raised $180,000 to provide:

  • A new scoreboard with video, graphics and state-of-the-art timing capability – technology that will allow CSU to continue hosting national and regional meets;
  • A new record board to recognize the achievements of outstanding student-athletes; and
  • 20 green and white championship banners flying from the rafters, recognizing Viking victories from 1974 to 2013.

Fresh paint and a new filtration system, made possible through the efforts of President Ronald M. Berkman and Athletics Director John
Parry, added to the natatorium’s improved look.

“The idea behind the Champions Campaign was simple: bring the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium back into championship form and cement, literally and figuratively, nine decades of swimming and diving heritage,” says Stockwell. “Thanks to phenomenal support from swimming and diving alumni, the natatorium looks newer today than when it was built 40 years ago.”

Phase Two, the Heritage Project, exceeded its $75,000 goal and added a wow factor to the facility. New features include:

  • Spectacular graphics on the north and west walls, featuring two 24 by 25 foot banners with inspirational quotes from coaches Busbey and Morton, framed by eight banners, each 25 feet tall, of student swimmers and divers;
  • A “ninth lane” banner on the south wall, measuring 60 feet wide by 30 feet tall and comprising thousands of swimming photos forming an image of Magnus watching over and motivating the Viking teams while honoring all swimming and diving alumni;
  • A 1931 to 2039 timeline on the east wall, displaying Hall of Fame plaque replicas and saluting team accomplishments in the pool, classroom and community since the Fenn College inception of the swimming and diving program (with 23 more years of wins to come);
  • A Community Corner that highlights CSU neighborhood partners;
  • A Heritage Corner interactive kiosk that brings team history to life;
  • New graphics featuring an underwater-like entry into the spectator stands via the north entry tunnel; and
  • Two donor panels recognizing alumni and friends who made the
    project a success.

“The Heritage Project is more than eye-popping graphics,” notes Guinther, who chaired the project committee. “What started as an effort to rally our teammates in support of much-needed pool improvements evolved into a platform for recruiting, fundraising and connecting. This project underscores Swimming and Diving as a relevant and essential program for the present and future.”

Joining Coach Morton and alumni Stockwell and Guinther on the Champions Campaign and Heritage Project Committee were alumni Jim Smith, BA ’78; Tom Fattlar, MEd ’96; Jim Starrett, BEd ’74; Mike Lehto, BA ’86 and women’s coach from 1994 to 2007; current men’s coach Paul Graham; Renee Adam, sports information assistant; and John McCreery, director of alumni programs.