Nov. 7, 2007
Morningside College will hold a dedication luncheon to celebrate the renovations in the Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center-Allee Gym on Friday, Nov. 9, at noon in the Helen Levitt Art Gallery, Eppley Fine Arts Building, 3625 Garretson Avenue.
Invited guests will tour the Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center-Allee Gym following the luncheon.
Tom Rosen, a 1970 graduate of Morningside College, and Donald Verdoorn, a 1955 graduate of Morningside, made the naming gifts for the renovations of the facility and will be recognized during the ceremony and also between games of the Mustangs’ men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader that evening.
“We are very appreciative of the generosity of these two men and for their commitment to the vision of Morningside College to become one of the best small, private residential colleges in the Midwest,” said Morningside College President John Reynders. “With the renovations to the Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center-Allee Gym, we now have as fine of an athletic facility as any small college in the Midwest.”
The $3 million renovation project began in April and was completed in September. The Buckingham M-Club Room, a coach’s office suite, concession stands, ticket booth, lobby area, restrooms, and some locker rooms were completely renovated. In addition, a new roof, windows, heating system, cooling system, and sound system were installed.
The Buckingham M-Club Room, a gathering room that features a variety of Morningside sports memorabilia, is named in honor of Albert “Buck” Buckingham, a former coach and athletic director at Morningside. The room will be dedicated between games of Friday’s basketball doubleheader. In later years, Buckingham served as the college’s first director of public relations and as vice president for Estate Planning.
Rosen is president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Rosen’s Diversified, Inc., which is headquartered in Fairmont, Minn. The company distributes agricultural chemicals and fertilizer through its subsidiary, Rosen’s Inc., and manufactures and markets beef, sausages, and meat snacks through its subsidiary, American Foods, LLC.
Rosen was inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame in August 2006 in recognition for growing his company from $550 million in annual revenues in 1998 to $2 billion in 2005. He is a former member of the college’s board of directors and served on the National Leadership Committee for Morningside’s Acceleration Program.
Rosen was a member of the Morningside men’s basketball team coached by Charles Obye. Rosen and his wife, Julie, a Minnesota state senator, have three children, Wade, who recently graduated from the University of Denver; Karin, who is enrolled at the University of Colorado; and Reid, a high school sophomore.
Verdoorn is the president and founder of Celebrity Development Corporation, which is located in Denver, Colo. The corporation is responsible for purchasing and developing the land on which Celebrity Custom Homes has built over 4,000 homes. Celebrity Development Corporation currently focuses on multi-million-dollar homes.
Verdoorn is a member of the National Association of Homebuilders and is a former board member of the American Arbitration Association. He served as co-chair of the Morningside College Acceleration Program from 1990-93 and was a member of the college’s board of directors.
Verdoorn was a member of the Morningside men’s basketball teams coached by Buckingham and was elected the team’s Most Valuable Player by his teammates in 1955. Verdoorn and his wife Paula reside in Denver and Scottsdale, Ariz. He has two children, Dan and his wife Carla, and Denise and her husband Erich; and three step-children, Kelly, Micki, and Lance and wife Karla. He also has three step-grandsons, Cahn, Cole, and Dylan.
Rosen and Verdoorn both credited their experiences as members of the college’s men’s basketball team while they were students for having positive impacts in their lives.
“When I played on the basketball team, I learned that if I tried hard enough and never quit, I could do anything,” Rosen said. “I wanted to provide student-athletes the same opportunities I had playing basketball at Morningside.”
“Coach Buckingham’s faith in me as an athlete and former President Miles Tommeraasen’s personal interest in me to become a better person and student were huge influences in my life,” Verdoorn said. “As a result, these men helped me develop perseverance and self-confidence. Giving this gift for Allee Gym is my way of saying thank you for what they and Morningside gave me.”
The Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center-Allee Gym is part of Morningside’s $15-million campus renovation that has been in progress since the fall of 2006 and is expected to be completed by May of 2008. Other projects include the new Lags Hall leadership-themed, apartment-style residence hall, the Elizabeth and Irving Jensen Softball Complex, the new Buhler Outdoor Performance Center, the Hilker campus green space, the Kline Pergola, the Lieder Fountain, new parking lots, and the main level of the Olsen Student Center, including the main dining hall and the new Yockey Family Community Room.
These projects have been supported through “This is Our Moment”: The Campaign for Morningside College, which has raised over $38.5 million to date. In addition to capital projects, the campaign has supported over $10 million in student scholarships and the college’s endowment.