Graham: Stadium would be centerpiece of beautiful campus

Graham

Graham

Dec. 20, 2011

Ram Fans,

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be the Director of Athletics at Colorado State University. These few weeks have been busy, and I am convinced we are taking our first steps on a journey toward greatness in CSU athletics.

My first action was to make sure our football program is in the best possible hands as it moves forward. I was extremely pleased to hire Jim McElwain, currently the offensive coordinator at Alabama, as our new coach.

Coach Mac not only is a gifted and highly respected coach, he is a great person with tremendous passion. When President Tony Frank and I shared our vision for the future of CSU Athletics, Coach Mac eagerly endorsed our plans and signed on to take a lead role in shaping this next chapter in Ram football.

Our goals are simple but ambitious. We want to compete at the highest possible level, to compete for and win conference championships, and play annually in bowl games. We will graduate our student-athletes, we will adhere to NCAA rules and guidelines, and we will be outstanding members of our community.

To reach these goals, we are going to need an unprecedented amount of support from the Ram Nation. Maintaining the status quo simply will not help us get where we all want – and need – to go.

You probably have heard me talk about a new on-campus stadium. I have long believed that building an on-campus stadium is the key to our future success. It will be the centerpiece of our beautiful campus and serve as a landmark and rallying point for all students, faculty, alumni and our community. The game-day experience will be greatly enhanced and will give our home games a true “college atmosphere.”

Right now, the proposed stadium is very much in the planning stage. We have yet to select a site or determine a fundraising strategy. What we do know is that the stadium must be privately funded; we should not and will not expect to receive state support.  In many ways, this will be the most ambitious project ever undertaken for CSU Athletics. But I want to stress that we are determined to make this happen. And, we will not wait 10 or 20 years to make this a reality.  If we are to truly take a step forward in our football program, we need this stadium as quickly as possible.

In the coming weeks and months, you will be hearing more about this exciting project and learn how you can help. As I mentioned before, we are going to need the entire Ram Nation’s participation to succeed.

In the meantime, you can help by buying season tickets and joining the Ram Club. All Ram Club donations directly fund scholarships for our 300-plus student-athletes. Right now, we have about 2,200 Ram Club members who provide about one-fourth of the money required for scholarships. Those numbers need to significantly increase if we are to achieve our objectives.

Athletic success is all about momentum, and never before has CSU had this type of momentum. We need to capitalize on this opportunity to build something that will instill pride in our university, our city and our state. Please join me on what promises to be a memorable journey!

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