Mark R. Shenkman Training Center
Thanks to alumnus Mark R. Shenkman, the University of Connecticut now joins the ranks of major universities nationwide with an indoor training facility that is utilized by the football program, recreational services and other varsity sports.
His $2.5 million gift, one of the largest ever to the UConn Division of Athletics, built an intercollegiate, intramural and recreational facility that serves the entire UConn community.
The 85,000 square foot Mark R. Shenkman Training Center rivals similar facilities at other large universities that have traditionally been dominant in college football.
Construction on the facility began in the fall of 2004 and the Mark R. Shenkman Training Center opened in the summer of 2006.
Featuring a 120-yard long state-of-the-art FieldTurf playing surface, an 18,000 square foot strength and conditioning area, and state-of-the-art video capabilities, the indoor training center provides UConn's football team with the most technologically advanced training equipment.
"The Mark R. Shenkman Training Center is a huge breakthrough in the growth of our football program," says UConn head football coach Randy Edsall. "Now we have the advantage of year round training, which is a necessity for any team serious about competing for conference championships and bowl victories."
The University contracted with the Hartford-based firm of Jeter, Cook and Jepson and with HOK Sport + Venue + Event, a internationally-renowned architectural firm based in Kansas City, to provide architectural and engineering services for the Mark R. Shenkman Training Center.
Founded in 1983, HOK created the first practice devoted to the design of sports facilities and is now recognized as a world leader in the field. Its client list includes 75 major colleges and universities, 24 Major League Baseball franchises and 30 National Football League franchises. The company has been involved with over 600 sports projects, including on-campus football facilities for several major universities along with professional stadiums such as Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots), Reliant Stadium (Houston Texans) and AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants).
The Mark R. Shenkman Training Center becomes the University's first project certified as meeting the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards for "green" buildings. LEED designation is a process certifying that a building project meets a wide range of environmentally friendly criteria. This new construction marks the first college or university athletic project in the nation to earn the designation.
A resident of Greenwich, Connecticut, Shenkman graduated from the Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Wilbraham, Mass. He received a bachelor's degree in political science from UConn in 1965 followed by a master's degree in business administration from The George Washington University. Shenkman is the founder and president of Shenkman Capital Management, Inc., a registered investment advisor with offices in New York City and Stamford, Connecticut. He has served on the UConn Foundation's Board of Directors for eight years and is a member of its investment committee. Shenkman was elected to the UConn School of Business Hall of Fame in 2002 and has endowed a classroom and the e-Commerce Chair for the business school.
Acknowledging the gift, UConn Director of Athletics Jeff Hathaway praised Shenkman's generosity.
"We are very grateful to Mark Shenkman and his entire family for this significant enhancement to our athletic program," says Hathaway. "Thanks to this gift, and the opening of the newest and most modern college football stadium in the country at Rentschler Field, our football program's training and playing facilities are among the best in the nation. In addition, this landmark facility will provide all of our varsity teams with an outstanding training venue while adding to our recreational services offerings."
"There is a special place in my heart for the University of Connecticut," says Shenkman. "With this gift, I hope to see our football program achieve the same standard of excellence as the men's and women's basketball teams. It's also gratifying that the UConn student population as a whole will benefit from this leading edge facility."