President C. L. Max Nikias and the athletic department announced the Hall of Champions in the new Heritage Hall will be renamed the Pat C. Haden Hall of Champions after athletic director Pat Haden to honor his 60th birthday.
The athletic department received $4 million in donations from Haden’s close friends, colleagues and university trustees. Toward the end of the fall 2012 semester, the administration and athletic department made plans to rename the Hall of Champions, which houses the university’s trophies, including the Heisman trophies.
The renaming of the Hall of Champions was unveiled at a private celebration hosted at Nikias’ house earlier this month.
Among the donors was CEO of Guthy-Renker and UCLA alumnus Ben Vandebunt, making it the largest gift to USC from a former UCLA student-body president.
Many tributes to other legendary USC athletic figures stand in Heritage Hall, such as busts to honor former athletic coaches Willis O. Hunter and Jess Hill.
In a similar vein, the fundraisers noted that Haden is a valuable and integral part of the university’s sports tradition.
“A prominent place in the building that honors the greatest achievements in Trojan history will carry the name of one of the greatest Trojans of all time,” Nikias said in a statement on the athletic department’s website. “Your legacy as a student-athlete, as an academic leader and as a person will forever be connected to the storied legacy of USC.”
The renovation of the Hall of Champions is part of the larger athletic department’s $300 million Heritage Initiative. The Heritage Initiative is an effort to modernize the athletic facilities, with a particular focus on re-designing the public showcase of the university’s athletic accomplishments in the 40-year-old Heritage Hall building.
The renovation, which is scheduled for completion by late 2013, costs $35 million; The fundraising campaign began in August 2012. More than half of the anticipated monetary goal has been raised, said sports information director of the athletic department Tim Tessalone.
Groundbreaking for the new Heritage Hall began in December 2012. Other projects include the construction of the Merle Norman Stadium for sand volleyball and renovation of the Uytengsu Aquatics Center.