Cook Hall Dedication Highlights
April 25, 2010
Cook Hall Dedication
President Michael McRobbie
"Friends colleagues, guests, distinguished guests, very distinguished guests, greetings and welcome. I really am delighted to see an extremely large crowd, as we gather to dedicate Indiana University's new basketball development facility, Cook Hall. As you are here, this magnificent new building was made possible primarily through remarkable generosity of Bill and Gayle Cook and other generous donors. This building will serve as the headquarters for IU's great men's and women's basketball programs. With 67,000 square feet of usable space, this multi-level facility offers our men's and women's players practice courts, locker rooms, coaches offices and meeting rooms for each of the programs."
"I hope that you all take some time after the ceremony to explore the really beautiful legacy court area, which is built to showcase our five national championship trophies, which you see coming into this facility. It really is quite superb, and without a doubt many more exhibits like this and more championships to come. Also, the other memorabilia and other exhibitions that celebrate IU's extraordinary rich basketball history. As I look around I am pleased to see an extraordinary number of friends of the university here today."
"Over half a century ago the legendary IU coach Branch McCraken wrote that `almost no other field of our school curriculum demonstrates good or poor teaching then athletics.' He said `it would be very interesting if other instructors had to demonstrate the results of their teaching before fifteen or twenty thousand critics each week, especially if each critic considers themselves an authority on the subject demonstrated. I would imagine several professors would turn grey in a hurry and develop ulcers.' Of course the public nature of student-athlete's performance demands and depends on hours of practice. Today as we dedicate this magnificent new facility, we recognize the vital importance of their preparation, the character it instills, and the strength of the partnerships it builds. As a university, we have been preparing for this facility in a sense, since our basketball team was first born in 1898. Just two years prior, IU's first Assembly Hall, was dedicated by the university's ninth president, Joseph Swain. This was a vast improvement on facilities in which women and men, separately of course, did what president Swain called the legitimate work of physical training."
"Our first men's game took place in 1900 against Butler. Unfortunately we lost. In 1971, the building we now know as Assembly Hall was dedicated by John Ryan. On December the first of that year the Hoosier men inaugurated the court with an 84-77 win against Ball State. This is part of the great tradition, the great history upon which this new basketball facility builds. As we all know, the practice that will take place in this building is part of a larger concern for every student-athlete. Every coach is first and foremost a teacher and every player first and foremost a student. In 1985, Janos Starker, the world famous cellist reiterated this point when he was invited to speak to the men's basketball team. On that visit, professor Starker said `there is no question that people who succeed in any field, sport or other, will only succeed if they have taken care of training their brain.' Such training is at the heart of the very best liberal education, an education and breadth of human knowledge from the sciences to the humanities, from the social sciences to the arts, an instruction in the skills of both our analysis and discrimination. This great philosopher of higher education John Henry Cardinal Newman wrote over a century ago, this is a training that develops habits of mind, which last through life. Such training requires discipline and time. It requires dedication to skill and it also requires the strength of many forms of partnership."
"As we have seen this building become a reality, one of the strongest of those partnerships has been between the university and the broader community, which supported this project so generously. Throughout this facility we can see countless signs of this generosity, from the great entry plaza to the Pfau Shine Legacy Court. From the Rush men's basketball court to the Olcott women's basketball player lounge. From the office suite to the Tobias locker room, I could continue, but let me say that we are deeply thankful to everyone who has made this wonderful facility a reality. In particular on behalf of the entire university community."
"I would like to extend our deepest and most profound gratitude to Bill and Gayle Cook, who have long been partners with Indiana University. Over the course of nearly a half-century, their vision and support have expanded opportunities well beyond the school of medicine, to the Jacobs School of Music, to the School of Education, to the Wells Scholars program and of course to IU athletes. It is a testament to the Cook's generosity and spirit, that they insisted that the name of every Cook employee be included on the very large plaque that you will have seen in the buildings lobby near the elevators. It is a superb testament to their generosity. With that spirit, they have joined the ranks of only a few families in history of IU, families such as the Lilly's and the Krannert's who have left an indelible mark of on Indiana University, with their great vision and generosity, and for that we are deeply and profoundly grateful. Will you please join me once again in thanking Bill and Gayle Cook and their son Kyle as well.
"Every project of this kind requires a great team that collaborates on the many details that ultimately come together to make a facility like this as functional and as beautiful as this. Would you also join me in thanking IU Vice President and Athletics Director Fred Glass for his leadership on this project as well."
"By way of conclusion let me turn to a pioneer of modern dance who once said `practice means to perform, over and over again in the fact of all obstacles subject to the vision of faith and desire. That vision of faith and desire may be the most ept way to describe the elements that have generated and will continue to infuse this remarkable new facility. We can see these elements as we are reminded of the great history and traditions of IU Athletics in Legacy Court. Our Big Ten champions and our national champions, our outstanding student-athlete who have brought both victory and honor to their alma mater on the court and in the classroom, and our many coaches and assistant coaches who have worked to instill players with the temperate and character. We can see these elements here in Cook Hall itself, which will soon be resounding with the great effort of our student-athletes."
Fred Glass, Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Quinn Buckner, 1976 NCAA Men's Basketball Champion
"You can't do it without a great team, and good teams have great leaders. We had one of the great leaders in all of collegiate sports and probably all sports, who taught us about loyalty, who taught us about serving the community, and trying to do what is best. I got some of that athletically and I've learned from other great people like Bill and Gayle. I want to take this opportunity to say for all of you who have this opportunity to use the facility, use it, because at the end of the day its about practicing and getting better. It is not just about getting better as athletes, but getting better as people, because you will be in this world a lot longer as a human being, God willing, then you will as an athlete. Learn from great people and some of the great, if not the greatest people I know are Bill and Gayle. Thank you very much for this time."
Scott May, 1976 NCAA Men's Basketball Champion
Amy Metheny, 1983 Women's Basketball Big Ten Champion
"Even then we had a challenge, scheduling practice time. We had second choice and rightly so, which meant we often practiced until eight o'clock at night, which meant we did not get home to start studying until 10 o'clock, not conducive to the student in student-athlete. Assembly Hall was also used for many other purposes in those days. This is a true story. Once Barry Manilow was coming to town for a concert, we got kicked out of practice early because they had to pull up the court. So Coach Jack, you and the women's team will never play second fiddle to Barry Manilow again."
"My teammates and I, we have always felt very privileged to play here at Indiana. We are humbled by all the advantages that we were given and we still feel that way today. Walking into Cook Hall and seeing the Legacy Court today for the first time was simply overwhelming. The fact that women have been given equal space in volume and commitment by this athletic department is a source of great pride for all of us that wore the Indiana uniform."
"As Cook Hall was in the planning stages our 1983 women's Big Ten basketball championship team was asked, had an opportunity to raise some money to name the film room here at Cook Hall. It was a no brainer for us to do this as a team, for we had learned long ago, as a championship team that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. We believed this would be a great way to give back to the university, while reminding future players and current players of the history and legacy that we have here."
"Speaking for all the former women's basketball players, we would personally like to thank President McRobbie for your support and emphasis on the student in student-athlete. Vice President Glass for your incredible leadership and support for the women's programs, Coach Jack for warmly welcoming us back as part of the team, and Coach Crean and Coach Jack thank you for continuing a long tradition of men's and women's programs supporting one another. Mr. and Mrs. Cook, words cannot express for your incredibly generous gift, you both are truly inspiring. "
"In closing I just wanted to say, long before there was the Butler way, there was the Indiana way. It meant putting the team above the individual, running a clean program, going to class, being a good student and graduating, representing your university well, being a good citizen and giving back to your community, all while winning championships. It is time for the men's and women's basketball programs at Indiana to regain their rightful place on the national college basketball scene, doing it the right way and winning championships, because we are after all Hoosiers."
Felisha Legette-Jack, Indiana Head Women's Baskeball Coach
"I want to thank Mr. McRobbie for giving us the opportunity. I want to thank Mr. Glass for believing in our women's basketball team. I want to thank Tom Crean for embracing our family and just working with us as a unit. Together we will. Those are three words. Together we will. We've done a lot of things, our Legacy Court shows that, but today moving forward we begin again with all of you. It's going to take all of Hoosier nation to grow this and now we have a place to practice every day to work on our craft. Thank you on behalf of the women's basketball team. We're humbled by this and we're going to work to earn it every day."
Tom Crean, Indiana Head Men's Basketball Coach
"This facility, as you will see if you haven't already, is second to none in the United States of America. There's no doubt about it. I think for us to continue to embrace that, we've got to understand the work ethic that has gone into the people's careers and lives that have enabled us to have a building like this, the players and coaches that have come before all of us on both sides, whether it's the men's team or the ladies' team, and to understand that a lot of hard work, a lot of sacrifices, a lot of different personalities had to mesh and come together to bring that history and to bring that tradition together. To make the fans in Hoosier nation, which is so proud and so large, just embrace it year after year after year and we have certainly seen that over the first two years of our time at Indiana. There's no question about it. There is not a tradition anywhere that holds up to this. There are some that are close, but when you put the former players, when you put the academic excellence, when you put the winning tradition, and then you top it off with the Hoosier nation of fans. There's no one else there. Now we have an opportunity for people to come in and see this incredible monument, literally. We'll sweat in here and we'll work, but it's a monument for excellence or as my son Riley and Maceo Jack call it, the Chamber of Awesome. It's already been renamed by two 11 year olds. For our present team and coaches, for our future recruits, for the people that get a chance to be a part of this on a daily basis, we are eternally grateful and thankful."
"The last two groups that I'd like to thank and everyone has thanked different people that are a part of this, but we've been here 24 months and when we walk into Assembly Hall and it was basically a hole in the ground where we're standing right now, but every day we would come in and it didn't matter what the weather was, there were people working. They were working diligently. It didn't matter hot or cold, they were there. There were so many of those people that most of us never know, but we're living, we're standing, we're going to work in an environment that they put together. I don't know how many are here, but I know there's one gentlemen in particular that is not here today that had a lot to do with the day-to-day operation of this and that would be Michael Crowe. Please keep Mike in your thoughts and prayers as he battles what he is battling. I'd like to give a round of applause for Mike, for Chuck Crabb who I see standing way up there, all of the different people that have been part of putting this building together, coming in their work boots and their hats every day to make this a reality."
"Last, but not least, because this is why it's so easy to go into a recruits home, to talk to somebody in person, to talk to somebody over the phone, but most importantly, to have them come and not only see it, but feel it. The tradition is second to none because of the players and coaches that have been a part of this. There are so many of them that are here today and one that bears special mention because I didn't realize until a little while ago that he was going to be here and that he was here, but I don't think you would find many NBA head coaches in the middle of the playoffs that would end up being back at their school for an afternoon. I'm sure there are a lot of different reasons that he's here, be it the Cooks, be it his teammates, his other friends and family members, but I've got to believe that love of Indiana University sits somewhere near at the top. I would say that one of the greatest things that we can get across to someone is that when you get around this program, you will feel what all those before you have felt and continue to feel. I would like every member, and I know the women's team has already had this opportunity, but they're welcome to stand up again too, I would like every member that has participated as a coach, manager, statistician, doctor, trainer, you name it, but most importantly right now, the players. I would like for them all to stand and get the round of recognition that they deserve. Thanks to them, thanks to all of you, and thanks especially to the benefactors, the Cook family, everyone that is here that has made this a reality. We look forward to being a part of this and adding to excellence of Indiana University every day. Thank you."
Jori Davis, Women's Basketball
"I think and I ask the question, how many student-athletes in the country are blessed with 24-hour access to their own personal performance enhancement facility. There aren't much. We will be able to have immediate review with the new XOS system on the court, which as a player, we all know video review is the most important to enhancing our game and performance. We have, not to mention, a top notch weight room, training room, and a locker room that has a sound system that we also love. We can literally take the name of being a gym rat to a whole new level and we will do that, I promise you. On behalf of the Indiana women's basketball team, we would like to thank you Mr. and Mrs. Cook. Thank you for supporting the dreams of the past, present, and future Hoosiers. Thank you very much."
Jordan Hulls, Men's Basketball
"The players and staff are very excited to get to work in such a high level environment where the sky is the limit. Not only will the new facility be a place for current players to work out and be the best student-athletes that they can be and a place for graduated players to come and revisit their playing days, but Cook Hall will also serve as a formal introduction to future recruits to Indiana basketball's tradition and our place at the top of college basketball in America. Thank you very much."
Jim Edson, Populous
"This is also a special occasion for many of us who have been working towards today, when we can share what we hope you will agree is a fitting new home for the IU basketball programs. We believe it reflects not only the great history and story of the programs, but will help spotlight future achievements and successes that will continue the legacy of Indiana University basketball. We need to acknowledge former President Terry Clapacs for his leadership during the planning and design of this building, as well as Vice Presidents Fred Glass and Tom Morrison, Coach Crean, Coach Jack and their staffs, who have been key players throughout the process. I also want to give special thanks to Mike Crowe for his very important contributions as the point guard of the university's team on this project. We send him and his family our best thoughts and wishes to add to all the strength and grace that they have found in themselves to meet the challenges they face every day now."
"Mike's university teammates for the project include Bob Meadows, Jeff Kaden, Gary Walls, Jeff Molden, Bob Richardson, Nita Williams, Kevin Clark, Chuck Crabb, and Kelly Bomba. I also want to recognize my colleagues at Populous and our consultants who helped in the design of Cook Hall."
Stephen L. Ferguson, Trustee
"Mr. President, on behalf of the trustees, I'm delighted to present to you this key which will open a world of possibilities to our basketball teams, the coaches, faculty members, staff, fellow students, and fans who support all on behalf of Hoosier nation."
"Friends and colleagues, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the trustees of Indiana University, I dedicate Cook Hall commending it as a place of unique importance for the university. May all who come here to play, to work, to visit, and to learn, bring even greater contributions to this campus reflecting the ideals of the pioneer founders of Indiana University. So please join me in celebrating this addition of this magnificent building to the outstanding facilities of Indiana University."
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