University dedicates Trudy Fitness Center

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It was a family affair last Saturday when the Colgate community gathered to celebrate the completion of the new Trudy Fitness Center.

“It’s not very often that you dedicate a building, much less one that is so important to the health of the campus,” said President Jeffrey Herbst. “It’s a tremendous moment for all of us.”

“Us” included hundreds of alumni, parents, and students who packed the lobby for the event. It also referred to those who inspired the building in memoriam, from its foundation to its vaulted ceilings. Leadership investors Maddie Buttitta ’08, Mark Mandel ’60, and Chase Carey ’76, P’12, P’13 each rose to recognize the influence of others on their lives and on their decision to make a major gift to the center.

For Maddie, it was her father, Mark Buttitta ’74, for whom the weight training center has been named. He passed down his love of Colgate, his passion for football, and the determination that comes from playing team sports. Mandel, namesake of the cardio floor, invoked his father, who inspired him to become a doctor and to treat everyone with concern and kindness; his mother, the first female principal in the New York City school system and a leader among her colleagues; and his wife, Emilia, who encouraged him to step forward with his gift.

Carey, with his wife, Wendy, gave the gift that etched a name on the building. The Trudy is a brick-and-mortar tribute to his mother, who died 25 years ago. “My mother wasn’t an athlete, but she played tennis and golf every day with a smile, with energy, with passion,” Carey said. “That’s what a place like this stands for — it’s a place where you can feel good, where you can be yourself.”

It’s also a place where you can learn about yourself, inside and out. The Trudy Fitness Center will serve as a base of operations for the university’s new Shaw Wellness Institute, named through an endowment established by Jay ’76 and Debi Shaw.

The institute coordinates efforts across campus to help undergraduates build healthy habits that will serve them long after graduation. With expanded funding and facilities, it will also partner with athletics and human resources to engage faculty and staff on lifestyle issues — intellectual, emotional, social, vocational, multicultural, spiritual, environmental, and physical.

“It will be a wonderful example of collaboration and synergy,” said counseling director Mark Thompson during a special luncheon after the dedication.

Although the ceremony and luncheon marked the Trudy’s official dedication, its doors first opened at 6:00 a.m. on January 31 to a crowd of more than 200 people. They found 14,825 square feet, divided into two floors, one for cardio training and another with Precor weight machines for strength. The cardio center features 25 treadmills, 24 ellipticals, a dozen stationary bicycles, and several Precor adaptive motion trainers. (Watch our video for details.) Already a popular destination for a large cross-section of the Colgate community, this could be higher education’s healthiest family room.

spacer_horizontal.jpgColgate thanks the following alumni, parents, and friends for supporting the Trudy Fitness Center:

Daniel G. Adler and Alice M. Mintzer P’11
James R. and Kaye Barker GP’13
Susan McNally Brakeley ’76, P’08
Jacqueline Buttitta Cerone, Madeline Buttitta ’08, and Julia Buttitta
Paul J. Byrne ’73
The Crown Family
The DeMatteis Family Foundation
James L. ’76 and Amy S. Elrod P’04, ’05, ’12
Linda J. Havlin ’72, P’10 and Todd W. Boulis ’10
The Herling Family ’79, ’81, ’08, ’10, ’12
L. Scott and Nancy R. Hughes P’12
Peter L. ’65 and Maria T. Kellner P’87
The Kindler Family
Brian and Robin Leach P’09, ’11
William J. ’73 and Susan V. ’73 Mahoney P’12, ’14
Mark A. Mandel M.D. ’60 and Emilia Pirro-Mandel
Brian P. McAndrews and Elise M. Holschuh P’12
Thomas J. ’78 and Deborah M. ’78 McInerney P’12
Patricia ’79 & Douglas Sacks P’12
Gerard H. and Virginia B. Shanley P’12
Barry J. ’76 and Laurene F. ’78 Small