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UNH Athletics receives $4 million donation

The funds will be put towards renovating the Whittemore Center, UNH’s ice hockey arena.
A projection of what UNHs Whittemore Center Arena may look like after its upcoming renovation, as released by the university in August.
Courtesy Phot
A projection of what UNH’s Whittemore Center Arena may look like after its upcoming renovation, as released by the university in August.

On Friday, August 18, many students and lovers of hockey saw an Instagram post followed by an article detailing a $4 million gift to the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Athletics. The gift was from alumni Anthony DiLorenzo ‘87, and will help UNH build an expansion to the Whittemore Center. 

This expansion is a part of the UNH Hockey renovation project to ensure that as a Division 1 (D1) university, it has D1 facilities for its athletes. 

The expansion will feature new locker rooms that are multi-functional and accessible for not only the men’s and women’s ice hockey and field hockey teams, but also for Northeast Passage’s Paralympic sled hockey athletes. The building will also feature a new strength and conditioning area as well as new offices for coaches and staff.

“It’s a gamechanger for the programs,” says Mike Souza, the men’s ice hockey coach. “There is an expectation for elite student athletes and the advantages they get when recruiting from around the country.” 

UNH’s Whittemore Center Arena as it looks now, prior to its upcoming renovation. (Courtesy Photo)

Hilary Whit, the coach of the women’s ice hockey team, agreed. 

“This has been a long time coming, and it will be a nice upgrade for everybody to benefit from,” she said. 

There has been some skepticism concerning this gift from students in the community, many believe that their buildings are being neglected in the turn of athletics. In particular, many students mentioned issues with the Field House and the Paul Creative Arts Center. 

“We are aware that there is never enough money to keep all the buildings up to date,” said University President James Dean in response to these concerns. “Since day one I have been searching for donors to improve our Paul Creative Arts Center and have yet to hear positive feedback.”

Much of the athletics department staff agree that an update is needed. Issues include poor ventilation, unlocked locker rooms and countless spaces of unused storage.

“When athletes tour our facilities, we want them to know not only that we care for them but that our facilities reflect that,” said Colin Shank, Associate Athletic Director of hockey operations. 

“The college landscape is changing and without our philanthropies it is difficult to achieve excellence,” said Souza “This gift is a catalyst to future gifts that will impact the lives of all UNH students.” 

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    PaulSep 8, 2023 at 10:47 am

    I understand that the whit is about 30yrs old and does need some upgrades, however it seems like a waste to invest this money into an arena the hockey team cannot fill.

    UNH has made huge investments in athletic facilities over the last 10yrs and has not had great attendance. The rhetoric from the administration sounds like recruiting athletes is their top priority.

    There is little public dialogue about improving education quality for the thousands of students that come through here each year and also how to reduce the cost of educating these students.

    The priorities of the university seem misguided.