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KU football stadium to be renamed after donor David Booth

Banners of famed Kansas football players have been added to many of the archways set within the north end of Memorial Stadium. The stadium is pictured on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017.

— The University of Kansas plans to rename its football stadium in honor of David Booth, the KU alumnus who has pledged $50 million over five years toward the stadium’s upcoming renovation, Chancellor Douglas Girod announced Wednesday.

Girod announced that plan to the Kansas Board of Regents, which voted unanimously to authorize the name change to the David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

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University of Kansas Chancellor Doug Girod tells the Kansas Board of Regents that the university ...

Currently known as Memorial Stadium, the facility was dedicated in 1922 in honor of the 129 KU students and alumni who were killed in World War I. It is currently one of the oldest stadiums still in use in college sports.

But there is little signage or other information at the facility explaining what the stadium is a memorial to, and Girod said there are probably very few students on campus who are aware of it.

But he said renaming the stadium will give KU an opportunity to rededicate the memorial aspect of it in order to make that story more well known.

“I think it does create an opportunity for us to elevate that back up to the fore,” he said.

Kansas Athletics has announced plans for a major renovation of the stadium and has set a goal of raising $350 million over five years for sports facilities. Most of that would be earmarked for the football stadium, but some would also go toward baseball and volleyball facilities.

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Rendering of the University of Kansas football stadium, at completion of renovation project.

Kansas Athletics

Girod said as of last month, the university had raised about $70 million toward that goal, including the $50 million pledge from Booth, the largest gift ever made to KU’s athletic department.

“Of course that’s not all David has done. He’s been a tremendous supporter for decades,” Girod told the board. “As you will recall, he purchased the original rules of basketball written in 1891 by James Naismith and presented that to the university, which is now displayed in the DeBruce Center. He also has supported the Booth Family Hall of Athletics at KU and has supported many other programs as well.”

The Booth Family Hall of Athletics, located adjacent to the east side of Allen Fieldhouse, is named in honor of David Booth’s parents, Betty and Gilbert Booth, both longtime Jayhawk fans and Lawrence residents.

David Booth graduated from Lawrence High School and went to KU, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1968 and a master’s degree in business in 1969. He then went on to earn an MBA at the University of Chicago, where he met his future business partner, Rex Sinquefield, who is now a Missouri political activist. Together they founded Dimensional Fund Advisors, a mutual fund company that operates throughout the United States and several foreign countries.

Booth has also been a major donor to the University of Chicago, whose business school is now known as the Booth School of Business.

Girod said after the meeting that he doesn’t yet know when the official name change will take place.

Comments

Paul Jones

So much for the honored dead, we have a billionaire who wants his name to live on. How long will it be before they are displaying ads on the campanile?

Kids go elsewhere if you seeking truth and beauty, it's all about a fast buck at American universities today because these same billionaires don't want to pay their taxes so we can properly fund education.

It's interesting the chancellor is a medical doctor who specializes in areas of the body that he should be well aware of what football is doing to the brains of these athletes. Anything for a buck.

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Mike Gant

Booth the billionaire naming a stadium after himself? How perfect. From the urban dictionary’s definition of “booth”:

“A state of being in which a person does what they want, doesn't give a (fudge) about any other (stuff) going on, and knows that they are being ‘booth’.”

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Tony Peterson

Memorial Stadium has its name for a reason which seems to be irrelevant.

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Pius Waldman

I agree renaming the stadium and honoring David Booth is justified.I feel certain he didn't ask for this recognition but his financial help is appreciated.

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Paul Jones

Yeah because we need to spend $300 million dollars more than what has already been spent on KU's entertainment program for something used seven times a year.

$50 million could provide a lot of academic scholarships for worthy students being priced out of a college education by these fat cats who don't want to pay taxes.

The boomers have been real swell using wealth that came educations that got from low priced, State supported institutions that their parents thought were worth funding and then turning around screwing the next generations out of the same because of their greed and arrogance.

What kind of tax breaks does this fat cat make from his donation to this entertainment enterprise? How many more William fund points?

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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David Holroyd

Booth can give his money for whatever, but the remaning shows how much of an egotist he is.

He has no respect for the original name.
I cannot wait for another losing year of footballl and how proud he is to have his name on the stadium.

If he were a real donor he would provide a fund in perpetuity for maintenance of the stadium.
That would be a DONOR.

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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P Allen Macfarlane

At least it's not named Trump Stadium!

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Gary Stussie

No, we are hoping to rename Clinton Parkway!

Looking at above names ... do you guys have weekly meetings to decide what to hate on?

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Rick Masters

Where do you think they'll build the Stussie Hub for the busses?

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

You don't live in Lawrence, do you? Clinton Parkway is named for Clinton Lake, because it heads to the lake. Clinton lake was named for the community that was impacted by the building of Clinton dam. It could have been called Bloomington lake too, so then it would have been Bloomington Parkway. What is wrong with you? Is your whole life hating the Clintons? Wow.

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Gary Stussie

Sorry ... 30 years in Larryville! Full aware parkway's namesake. Still a constant reminder of how close the country came to disaster.

3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Bill Turner

They ought to save the $350 million, knock that stadium down, and put up a parking lot with spaces named after the men who died in service to our nation. What a disgrace.

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Gary Stussie

How about a thank you to Mr. Booth for his continued generosity to KU and a nice monument to the 129 KU students and alumni who were killed in World War I?

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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David Klamet

Sports are what is important: at KU, in Lawrence, throughout the country.

There is a "Sports" section in this newspaper, and surely almost every paper in the country. If there are "Education" and "STEM" sections in any papers, they are undoubtedly rare.

This action just shows what's important. Donations to other departments at KU rarely make the front page of the paper. Is that because they're rare or because they're not important? Or both?

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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David Klamet

Just think. $50M would fund five hundred $100K scholarships.

3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Clara Westphal

Why would baseball be included in the redesign after Mr. Hoagland spent millions redoing the facility the baseball team has now? Is Booth trying to be T. Boone Pickens who now owns Oklahoma State?

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Pius Waldman

Are you sure Booth is deciding how to use the pledge or maybe you not aware who decides how it is spent.

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Curtis Lange

Baseball and volleyball upgrades are part of the overall $350 million project...not the $50 million donation from Mr. Booth.

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Linda Aikins

whoa! Where does it say that Mr. Booth insisted on the name change? Perhaps the university actually thought of this!

I think it is amazing that he is so generous with his money. Think of it. $50M given so his alma mater can be proud of their facilities. Thank you to all the Booths and the other families who give so freely of their money to keep KU beautiful and respectful!

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Joshua Cain

With all of the not too distant past renovations and upgrades we were led to believe that it would grow the football program into a winning team. Maybe we should fire whoever is in charge and use Booth money to get the right people in here to get a winning program. All the upgrades aren't materializing into what we want most....wins. Heck I'd even be happy with a .500 record. Is that too much to ask?

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Curtis Lange

A lot of ignorant comments in here in regards to Mr Booth. Thanks to him we have the great addition to Allen Fieldhouse, the original rules of basketball on display, soon to be upgraded Memorial Stadium and more I'm likely forgetting. He has helped spur a lot of development to keep KU's sports facilities top notch.

People can try to deny it all they want, but sports are extremely important on a local, national and worldwide level. Sports are a source of pride for undergrads and alums. KU athletics are also the first taste many people get of our university.

3 weeks, 5 days ago

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Greg DiVilbiss

Trolls will be trolls.

It is an amazing gift to the University and the athletic department. Mr. Booth can spend his money how he sees fit, after all its his money. It is great he wants to give back to the community he grew up in.

Maybe take a breath and chill...Jeez.

3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Paul Jones

The trolls are the one who think the bread and circus show takes priority over the real purpose of a university. If you guys really need your university sports team to build up your self worth then you didn't learn much at college.

Greg I guess you are in the same camp as Trump who thinks taxes are evil and the wealthy who got to where they are because of what was provided by the government don't have an obligation to society and instead gets his tax write offs (ie even less money for education) so he can support an entertainment side show that universities shouldn't be running in the first place as they currently operating. There is no justification for coaches making millions of dollars coaching unpaid athletes.

3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Gary Stussie

Sound familiar! " I know how best to spend other people's money!"

3 weeks, 4 days ago

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Richard Neuschafer

As bad as the football program is I'm surprised that anyone would want their name on the stadium.

3 weeks, 2 days ago

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