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Special Moments In Gampel Pavilion History

Jan. 26, 2015

STORRS, Conn. - Gampel Pavilion is best known as the home court of the UConn men's and women's basketball teams and has seen one exciting moment after another over the past 25 years.

The building has also played host to host to a fair number of non-basketball game events highlighted by speeches from Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush.

Gampel Pavilion is also the home of UConn's annual commencement exercises, the spring weekend concert and the annual Connecticut Invention Convention, a state-wide elementary school event that is designed to develop, encourage and enhance critical thinking skills through invention, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Here is a list of some of the top non-UConn basketball game events in Gampel history.

March 24, 1990-Connecticut concludes its 1989-90 "Dream Season" losing to Duke 79-78 in the NCAA Eastern Regional Finals (Elite Eight) in the Meadowlands. Several hours later, without any definitive pre-planning, Gampel Pavilion is opened to Husky fans and a spontaneous celebration/welcome home takes place when the UConn team returns from New Jersey.

May 1991-Children's television icon Fred Rogers delivers UConn's commencement address.

May 1993-
Television and movie legend Ron Howard delivers UConn's commenement address.

April 3, 1995-
UConn Women's Basketball returns to Gampel Pavilion one day after beating Tennessee 70-64 in the National Championship game (Minneapolis, MN) to win the first of its nine NCAA titles.

October 15, 1995-President Bill Clinton becomes the first sitting U.S. President to visit the UConn campus in Storrs, speaking in the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion as he inaugurated the Thomas J. Dood Research Center.

November 5, 1995-The USA Women's Basketball National Team visits Gampel Pavilion for a pre-season exhibition game with the UConn Huskies. The contest is a return home for one member of the National Team as Rebecca Lobo, UConn's National Player of the Year from Connecticut's 35-0 unbeaten National Championship run in 1995,was back in Storrs. The National Team scored an 83-47 victory before a sellout crowd of 8,241. Logo scored eight points in 13 minutes of action against her former teammates.

May 1996-Grammy Award winning producer Quincy Jones delivers UConn's commence address.

May 16, 1998-Former United States President George H.W. Bush receives a Doctor of Laws Honorary Degree during Spring 1998 Commencement ceremonies inside Gampel Pavilion.

March 30, 1999-UConn Men's Basketball returns to Gampel Pavilion one day after beating Duke 77-74 in the National Championship game (St. Petersburg, FL) to win the first of its four NCAA titles.

December 21, 2006-Ten First Team All-Americans and Hall of Fame Head Coach Geno Aureimma comprise the inaugural class of inductees into UConn's Women's Basketball "Huskies of Honor". Joining their coach are former stars Svetlana Abrosimova, Kerry Bascom, Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Rebecca Lobo, Shea Ralph, Jennifer Rizzotti, Nykesha Sales, Diana Taurasi, Kara Wolters.

February 5, 2007-Thirteen players and three coaches constitute the inaugural class of inductees in the UConn Men's Basketball "Huskies of Honor". Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun along with coaches Hugh Greer and Dee Rowe headline the honorees and are joined by former stars Walt Dropo, Vin Yokabaskas, Art Quimby, Toby Kimball, Wes Bialosuknia, Tony Hanson, Corny Thompson, Clifford Robinson, Chris Smith, Donyell Marshall, Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, Emeka Okafor.

April 5, 2011-The 2011 National Champions are welcomed home to Gampel Pavilion and All-American Kemba Walker is honored as the newest member of UConn's "Huskies of Honor."

September 13, 2012-In a unique press conference, Hall of Fame head coach Jim Calhoun announces his retirement from the position after three national championships at 23 seasons. At the same press conference, Kevin Ollie, who played for Calhoun, is named UConn's new head coach.

September 22, 2013-Hall-of-Fame Head Coach Jim Calhoun is honored in the arena that was his home for 23 seasons during "Heart of a Champion--A Tribute to Jim Calhoun". A crowd of 650, including many of his Husky players, celebrate his 40-year collegiate coaching career and the street outside Gampel Pavilion is renamed "Jim Calhoun Way." Coach Calhoun's record in Gampel Pavilion--143-22.

April 8, 2014-The 2014 National Champions are welcomed home to Gampel Pavilion and All-American Shabazz Napier is honored as the newest member of UConn's "Huskies of Honor"---with his mother, Carmen Velasquez, unveiling her son's banner.