Olympic athletes and top USC administrators attended a groundbreaking for a $16 million aquatics center on Saturday.
1983 swim captain Fred Uytengsu, the namesake for the center, donated a record $8 million to fund the new complex, which will include training areas, locker rooms, offices, meeting rooms and improvements to the diving tower and pool deck.
Uytengsu is the president and CEO of Alaska Milk Corp, a dairy company in the Philippines.
The new aquatics center is slated for completion in 2014.
“Fred’s gift will have an impact beyond brick and mortar,” USC swim coach Dave Salo said last May during the announcement for the project. “The design of the new facility will make the spectator experience so much more enjoyable and USC student-athletes will have greater access to their coaches and trainers and the unique opportunity to train in a world-class facility.”
USC President C. L. Max Nikias and Athletic Director Pat Haden both spoke at the hour-long event. Other speakers included Peter Daland, a former USC swim coach, John Naber, a five-time Olympic gold medalist, and Madeline Rosenthal, a current women’s water polo player.
The center’s swimming pool will be named after Deland, Utyengsu’s coach at USC. Between 1958 and 1992, Deland led USC to nine NCAA championships and 17 conference titles. Uytengsu graduated from USC’s business entrepreneurship program in 1983. Initially, Uytengsu joined the swim team as a walk-on during his freshman year.
“Without a doubt, swimming at USC — and for Coach Daland — was a great opportunity,” Uytengsu said last May. “And I am now pleased to be able to give back and support the university’s goal of upgrading facilities.”