IU announces donation of $2 million for new Assembly Hall entry plaza

  • 04/02/2015 7:17 pm in

Indiana on Thursday evening announced a $2 million donation from Ken Nunn for a new entry plaza to the south entrance of Assembly Hall.

The addition will be named the Ken Nunn Champions Plaza and will be completed by the fall of 2016, in time for when renovations to the 40-plus-year-old arena will be finished, as well.

“We are thrilled and so very grateful to Ken for his generous gift to help renovate the future Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall,” IU vice president and director of athletics Fred Glass said. “The Ken Nunn Champions Plaza will be a centerpiece to the new Assembly Hall and we are honored that it will bear his name. His gift helps ensure that we are preserving one of the greatest home court advantages in college basketball.”

Renovations to Assembly Hall — which will be renamed the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall following the completion of the renovations thanks to a $40 million donation from Cindy Simon Skjodt in 2013 — have already begun. There also will be a public groundbreaking ceremony at the Cook Hall Entry Plaza on Monday, April 7, at 3:30 p.m.

“IU is a great university and the IU basketball program and its fan deserve the very best,” Nunn said. “It is my honor to support the renovation of Assembly Hall.”

The full press release from Indiana is available after the jump.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – IU Athletics announced today that Ken Nunn has made a $2 million commitment to the historic Assembly Hall renovation project. In recognition of the gift, Assembly Hall’s new south entry plaza will be named the Ken Nunn Champions Plaza when the renovated Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall opens in the Fall of 2016.

“We are thrilled and so very grateful to Ken for his generous gift to help renovate the future Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall,” said Indiana University Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass. “The Ken Nunn Champions Plaza will be a centerpiece to the new Assembly Hall and we are honored that it will bear his name. His gift helps ensure that we are preserving one of the greatest home court advantages in college basketball.”

As part of preserving college basketball’s greatest home court advantage, the renovations will: improve the fan experience through renovating every restroom and adding new ones, improving the concession stands, refurbishing all non-bleacher seats, installing a new large video board with improved visibility in the balconies and throughout the seating bowl, replacing metal railings with acrylic panels to improve safety and sightlines, and adding premium seating and hospitality to generate revenues to reinvest in the building’s maintenance; improve fan accessibility through new escalators in the North and South lobbies and improved access for people with disabilities; enhance the look through a dramatic new “front door” and entry plaza and new branding and flooring throughout the building; and rebuild the infrastructure of the building through improvements to its emergency alarms, mechanical, plumbing and HVAC systems.

Renovations on Assembly Hall will continue through Fall, 2016.

“IU is a great university and the IU basketball program and its fan deserve the very best,” said Ken Nunn. “It is my honor to support the renovation of Assembly Hall.”

Construction to renovate the Assembly Hall has already begun. There will be a ceremonial public groundbreaking ceremony on April 7, 2015. The ceremony for the future Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall will take on the Cook Hall Entry Plaza at 3:30 p.m.

The renovation of Assembly Hall was announced in December 2013 when IU Athletics received a $40 million gift — the largest in its history — from alumna Cindy Simon Skjodt (pronounced SCOTT). In honor of the landmark gift made by Simon Skjodt and her philanthropic organization, the Samerian Foundation, IU will rename Assembly Hall the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall at the completion of the construction and renovations. The Simon Skjodt gift also launched IU Athletics’ capital campaign, which is part of Indiana University’s Bicentennial Campaign.

Nunn also made a gift to support Assembly Hall in 2012 to help fund the installation of 350 aluminum handrails located throughout the seating bowl. Read more about Assembly Hall’s handrails.

To learn more about the IU Athletics campaign or gift and naming opportunities, please contact the IU Varsity Club at 812-855-0866 or varsity@indiana.edu.

(Photo via IU Athletics)

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  • sams212

    This is going to look good!

  • marcusgresham

    Shouldn’t it be the “Ken Nunn Loves Indiana Basketball Champions Plaza”?

  • Ms hoosier

    Why can’t we do what it takes to get RMK’s name on the court

  • clincher12

    Ken Nunn loooooooves IU Basketball.

  • Corey Dunigan

    I read a tweet today. It said being a plaintiff aty he loves things with no defense…zing!

  • Mike

    Because he won’t care. He’s still bitter at the university, even if we do, he won’t attend the ceremony, and he won’t even acknowledge it. He’s just a bitter old man. We need to let it die, he’s NEVER coming back, in any way.

  • Ms hoosier

    I don’t wont him back. No matter how bitter he is, I think it’s a shame that his name is not on that court he did too much for IU BBALL

  • Ben thorne

    No disrespect, but I will still call it Assembly Hall.

  • hardly

    I’m sure many were hoping that would be earmarked for…..something else.

  • marcusgresham

    The court already has a name. “Branch McCracken Court.”
    I always said if he’d have come back (before the Simon Skjodt donation,) they’d have gladly named Assembly Hall after him but, it’s like Mike said.
    I do wish he’d come back but I don’t see it ever happening. If he did there are plenty of streets that could be renamed (isn’t the Hall on 17th? No reason that couldn’t be Bob Knight Boulevard with a nice big statue if he cared. Maybe even the street the library is on—he frequently donated money to the library.)

  • LaFargeinPayroll

    Because the court is named after Coach McCracken. For a fan base that gets itself off on tradition so much, you would think more people would know this. Also, we would need his permission for something like that, and since he keeps snubbing any invite/honor we extend, it ain’t happening.

  • LaFargeinPayroll

    Well, since Assembly Hall will still be in the name, I don’t think anyone will be disrespected.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Really, who is ken Nunn and why will I lookb@ his name every time I enter sassembly hall from the south side? Oh, his ego needs stroked so he donated $2 million. RMK would have had half the buildings on campus named after him . . .

  • Senor

    You’re welcome.

  • pcantidote

    I have never understood why people feel like they need their name attached to something when they donate. I suppose I should just shut up and be grateful, but it just cheapens the whole thing. Be humble.

  • pcantidote

    I get it, but how exactly is one “bitter at the university”? That is like being bitter at a wall. There is no university, there are only people, and all of the people that were there when he was fired are gone now.

  • ForeverIU

    For some of the same reasons that made them rich in the first place, lol.

  • AssemblyBall

    How ironic that his name will be attached to a facility in which there is no Defense once you enter.

  • pcantidote

    I don’t have any issue with his or anyone else’s wealth, or how they obtained it (as long as it was legal), but I think there is a time and a place for self promotion, and this isn’t it.

  • ‘Nuff_Said

    Why? Haven’t enough people repeatedly tried to reach out to him and reconcile not to mention the people that were the root of the departure have either left IU or are dead? For most of his tenure at IU he was a fantastic coach and brought IU into basketball prominence but he’s made it very clear he doesn’t want anything further to do with IU and I’m fine with that. On the other hand, I’m also fine with not naming anything after him. His name will always be in the history books as a 3-time NCAA championship coach at IU. ‘Nuff for me.

  • CreamandCrimson

    A guy donates two million dollars and a decent number of the posts on this thread are questions/complaints about why he has to have his name attached to it or why Bob Knight’s name isn’t on the court (you know, the court that’s already named after a legendary coach). I know that not everyone is going to be pleased about things but I didn’t expect to see much on this thread besides positivity…perhaps that’s on me for expecting people to be generally pleased about a seemingly good thing happening for the program.

  • TomJameson

    Hahahaha … “bitter at a wall” …. Very good, I love it.
    Seriously, thanks for that laugh!

  • TomJameson

    The statue would be top heavy because the head would have to be soooo big.
    Sorry, that was a joke – sarcasm – but man, was it just not laid out for my comment so very nicely??? LOL

  • TomJameson

    I have a very dear friend who has been a doctor for like 60 years. He is extremely accomplished in his field, there’s no way in the world I could list them all. He is very respected and people sing his praises all the time, but he has stayed humble and gives credit for all his accomplishments to God.

    Dr Nick has at least one building named for him at a hospital in Evansville. He didn’t ask for that honor, it was given to him for his continued support over all that time. My whole point in all this, is that names on buildings are sometimes just given, not asked for. And 2 million is a lot of money, even to a millionaire.

    BTW – Dr. Nick played football for IU, and has been loyal to that university for 68 years! That alone makes him a great guy! 🙂

  • deedubbadoo

    Geez, talk about some ingrates. The guy donates 2 million dollars to help renovate the building and everyone wants to complain about his name being attached to… the entry plaza! It’s not Ken Nunn’s Assembly Hall of Champions. Maybe some have forgotten that the actual name of the building once renovations finish will be the “Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall,” because they gave $40 million dollars. Everyone who were die hard about preserving the old building, have to live with the idea that a wealthy person contributed to its continued existence. Ken Nunn is the same guy that donated hundreds of thousands of dollars a couple years ago to add handrails to steep narrow steps at Assembly Hall as well. I’m all for the jokes about “no defense” inside the hall, because they are pretty funny, but blasting him because The University decided to attach his name to entry way because of a generous donation is a bit much. Enjoy the fact that we will be able to enjoy games for many years to come because of the aforementioned donations, and continue to call it Assembly Hall, much like Klipsch, Verizon Wireless, will always be Deer Creek to me.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Looks like it will be much nicer than the current driveway.

  • marcusgresham

    Excellent points—-and I don’t see anyone bitching about the name on Cook Hall

  • MisterSlippery

    I wonder what could be named after Mister Slippery… maybe a slip ‘n slide in the parking lot.

  • inLinE6

    I have high respect to Mr. Nunn and all the generous support for the athletics department. But wouldn’t it be even better to donate to academics and create more scholarships or to fund some student debt?

  • hoosier93

    I would have rather seen these people start donating for a brand new building… but I guess this will work. State of the art locker room come next right?

  • LaFargeinPayroll

    The Cook Hall locker rooms are great and the AH locker rooms have been renovated by Sampson and Crean.

  • LaFargeinPayroll

    What? It’s an entry plaza to a basketball arena, not St Peter’s Basilica.

  • pcantidote

    So then why don’t we just name everything? You are walking through the Joe Johnson door, and holding the john smith handrail and peeing in the jack Thompson toilet. It’s just stupid.

  • enickman

    How about putting this towards a buyout?

  • Ben thorne

    You’re right. Very seldom do people talk about how RMK gave back.

  • TexasHoosier

    I believe you could have applied your derogatory comment to every single instance of donations to athletics no? What does this have to do with anything on the related topic of Assembly Hall?

  • LaFargeinPayroll

    I would read the release about it, and then move on. Plus, buildings, entry ways, courts…these are common things that get named after people. You are taking it to an absurd level.

  • LaFargeinPayroll

    Feel free to use your money as you see fit.

  • enickman

    Cool. We can call it the Enickman Buyout! I like the sound of that.

  • pcantidote

    Clearly you don’t get humility.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Maybe a slip ‘n’ slide in the visitors’ tunnel?

  • Alex

    Hmm… I can’t think of any other ways to spend the $2 million

  • Bill Graham

    What!? This is an outrage! 2 million dollars for a new entrance? How dare we actually improve our stadium. This leads me to one conclusion: CTC has to go!

  • Bill Graham

    ……oh wait…….oops….ya….that comment really doesn’t work for this post…..oops sorry guys I was just copying every other post on ITH

  • Frankdrebend

    Somebody please tell me how Ken Nunn has this unlimited supply of wealth. What big settlements has he won? I didn’t realize that owning a law firm in Bloomington Indiana can support this lifestyle.