UC Berkeley press release


Berkeley -- Carol and Ned Spieker donate $5 million for the Haas Pavilion and the Cal Athletics Campaign

by Jose Rodriguez

Berkeley--Carol and Ned Spieker of Atherton have made a gift of $5 million to the University of California at Berkeley's capital campaign.

The majority of the gift--$4 million--will be for the $40-million Cal Athletics Campaign, specifically for construction of the Walter A. Haas, Jr. Pavilion, with the balance yet to be designated by the donors.

The gift is the second largest ever made to Cal Athletics and is a boost to the $1-billion fundraising campaign to maintain UC Berkeley's overall excellence into the new century.

The Spiekers' gift pushes the total raised for the Cal Athletics Campaign in just 18 months to nearly $24 million, 60 percent of the overall $40-million goal. In January 1995, the late Walter A. Haas, Jr. and his wife, Evelyn, made a $10-million leadership commitment to the Haas Pavilion project.

The Haas Pavilion, a major reconstruction at the current Harmon Gymnasium site, will increase the seating capacity to over 12,000, as well as provide a new office complex for the athletic department, and expanded and improved facilities for Cal's student-athletes. In addition to the Haas Pavilion, major improvements will be made next year to the Edwards Stadium Track and Soccer facility, with construction scheduled to begin in the spring of 1997.

Athletic Director John Kasser was delighted with the news of the Spiekers' generosity.

"This gift couldn't have come at a better time," said Kasser. "We're just finishing the plans for the Haas Pavilion. The Spieker gift will make possible not only the major structural improvements, but also exterior beautification that will benefit the entire campus. The Spiekers have always been there for the University, and are stepping up in a huge way to help all of Cal's athletic programs."

In the early 1980s, the Spiekers donated a major gift enabling the construction of Spieker Aquatics Complex, and later were benefactors to the Cal Splash Club Endowment. While a student, Ned Spieker was on the swimming and water polo teams at California.

The construction of the Pavilion provides the opportunity to transform the surrounding plaza area from what now serves as a modest service way into a major entry to campus and a gateway to the athletics quadrant of campus.

The plan for this new courtyard area includes relocating the parking in the court area spanning from Bancroft Way north, and transforming the entire area into a pedestrian plaza. With new landscaping, enhanced lighting, and other improvements, the courtyard will welcome visitors to the Haas Pavilion, Spieker Aquatics Complex, and the entire network of athletic and recreational facilities that occupy the southwest corner of the Berkeley campus. This new gateway will also create a more suitable connection with the Berkeley community and a more visible entrance to the campus.

The renovations will also include a new entrance to the Spieker Aquatics Complex, located next to the proposed Haas Pavilion. Inside the Complex, new collapsible bleachers will be installed on the lower deck, providing more deck space for team practice and recreational use while upgrading the seating for water polo matches and swimming meets. An additional 200 to 300 seats will be added to the venue. A new entry gateway, improved landscaping and a new wall will greatly increase the visibility and ambiance of Spieker Aquatics Complex.

Ned Spieker founded Spieker Properties, a New York stock exchange listed real estate company, and currently serves as the chairman and chief executive officer. Spieker Properties owns and operates industrial, suburban office, and neighborhood retail property in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

The Spiekers have not only been generous donors to the university, they have also served the Berkeley campus in many volunteer capacities. Ned has served on the Bear Backer Council, and as a UC Berkeley Foundation trustee, and is currently serving on the Cal Athletics Campaign Executive Committee. Ned and Carol, both 1966 graduates from Berkeley, are currently serving as Class Campaign volunteers, and on the Chancellor's Campaign Cabinet.


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