On Jan. 17, the University of St. Thomas announced a record-breaking gift from Lee and Penny Anderson, which will be used to construct a new arena for basketball, hockey and other events on the south campus in St. Paul. Local and national media took note of this momentous occasion and the impact the $75 million gift will have on the university and the community as a whole.
The first to break the news was Twin Cities Business magazine. This was quickly followed by numerous others, including Forbes, The Associated Press and the Star Tribune, which ultimately published three separate stories.
From the story: Thanks to a record $75 million gift – believed to be the largest to any university in Minnesota – construction of the Lee and Penny Anderson Arena could begin in 2024, with the doors open as soon as 2025.
From the story: University of St. Thomas President Rob Vischer said the couple "have been very generous benefactors of the university for years, and so we've always been in an active and strong relationship with them, and Lee and Penny have a keen interest in helping St. Thomas to flourish, not just in the near term but for generations to come."
From the story: The four coaches had known about the development for a couple of weeks, but "they did a great job of keeping a lid on it,'' Esten said. Once freed to comment, the coaches' joy flowed.
"I'm really, really excited for our fan base, our alums, the guys who came before, the ladies who came before,'' Blasi said. "This is special.''
Twin Cities TV and radio stations were also on campus for Tuesday's announcement and covered the story throughout the rest of the day.