New stadium press box to be named for Jacobson brothers
The new football press and skybox complex at McGuirk Alumni Stadium will be named in honor of alumnus Martin Jacobson and his brother Richard, according to athletic director John McCutcheon.
Marty Jacobson of the Class of 1968 committed $2.5 million to the campus on June 10 at a ceremony with Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, McCutcheon and football coach Charley Molnar.
Jacobson said the gift is a chance to make an impact during on the campus following the transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
“I’ve been a huge proponent that athletics enhance the value of going to a state university,” said Jacobson. “I enjoyed my time at the university and the fact that we are now able to play FBS football each Saturday is something that is very exciting. UMass is building a program that my brother Dick and I are very excited about and to help in this way is something that gives us great gratification.”
Jacobson has been a longtime supporter of Athletics. His brother, Dick, is a 1966 graduate of the University of Michigan.
“What’s particularly exciting for me is doing this with my brother. He and I have done things together throughout our business careers,” said Jacobson. “We believe in giving back, and even though Dick went to Michigan and I went to UMass, it was important to do something to help people for many years to come. Our hope is that by giving back, others will come forward and join us. I would like to see the whole community get behind the program. With the commitment the university is making, I really believe it’s important that people give back however they can. The whole value of sports, I believe, adds to the value of going to the University of Massachusetts.”
“Marty’s generosity is absolutely fantastic,” said Subbaswamy. “We are going through our sesquicentennial year and we are continuing to build up our football program at the FBS level. A gift like this not only helps us accomplish our high aspirations but it also makes a tremendous statement about the confidence that people who have been a part of the university have in our future. For our program at this time, it is a boost in the arm that has a greater value than just in terms of dollars.”
“We cannot thank Marty and Richard enough for their loyal support to the university and Athletics in particular. Marty’s vision and understanding of the role athletics can play for the state’s flagship campus is extremely positive,” said McCutcheon. “This leadership commitment will add to the momentum that is building behind our campaign and the direction we have charted for UMass Athletics.”
“This is a great step forward for our program. Marty has been a great friend of the program since the day I arrived on campus,” said Molnar. “To have his name on that press and skybox complex is not only a great legacy for Marty and his brother Dick, but it is also a sign that UMass is moving forward and that we have people behind the program who really believe in the direction of our Athletics Department. This goes much farther than just the money aspect. For our players to know that there are boosters and supporters behind our program that are really willing to go the extra mile for us, that will only add to their level of commitment on a daily basis.”
The Jaconsons found success working together as businessmen. Their sports apparel company, Nutmeg Industries, Inc., created upscale sportswear with licensing agreements that included the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, the NCAA and major colleges and universities.
A longtime supporter of the university, Jacobson was honored in 1999 when he was awarded the Distinguished Professional and University Service Award by the Alumni Association.
The Martin and Richard Jacobson Football Press and Skybox Complex is part of a $34.5 million enhancement project at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. The press box will be a 5,800-square-foot space designed to accommodate a range of media with the primary focus on television production accessibility. The new press box will replace the one originally built for the stadium in 1965 when the Minutemen began using the facility.
The press box and the 55,000-square-foot Football Performance Center are currently under construction and are scheduled for completion in time for the 2014 fall season.
Photos: Rendering of Martin and Richard Jacobson Football Press and Skybox Complex (top) and Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy with Marty Jacobson.