Archive for Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rec center will be named for Ambler

December 22, 2007


KU rec center named after Ambler

A man former KU students say had a huge impact on the quality of life for students will receive some very special recognition. Enlarge video

The Kansas Board of Regents voted this week to name Kansas University's student recreation center after longtime Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs David Ambler.

Ambler, who retired in 2002 after 25 years at the university, said he was "overwhelmed and honored" when he learned of plans to dub the building the David A. Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center.

The recreation center opened in 2003, four years after students voted to fund its construction, maintenance and operations with student fees.

Ambler credited former student body president Kevin Yoder, now a lawyer in Olathe and a state representative, with pushing the measure forward.

Yoder, a Republican from Overland Park, said Ambler "made a large impact on the quality of life for students at KU. It's such a great testament that a source of campus recreation would be named after him, because it's the very kind of thing that he worked for during his time at KU."

KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway called Ambler a champion of students.

"His dedication and leadership made a huge impact on the lives of many Jayhawks," Hemenway said. "It is only fitting that a facility for improving the health and lives of students bears his name."

Ambler said he never expected such an honor.

"I had a hard time telling (Hemenway) it was OK because I never really had it on my radar screen that something like this would happen," he said.

He credited students for sacrificing with the future in mind.

"The real people that this building has to be dedicated to are the students that worked really hard to convince (the student body) that this was worth investing in, even though many of them that voted would never see the rec center because they'd be graduated and gone," Ambler said.

The rec center is currently under construction, while a 44,000-square-foot, $6.3 million addition is built. The addition is scheduled to open in the summer of 2008.

Yoder said naming a building after Ambler was a unique honor.

"Most buildings at KU are not named for student advocates," Yoder said. "I was just pleased that I had the opportunity to cross paths with him."

Ambler, who lives with his wife, Mary Kate, in Lawrence, has stayed busy during his retirement, serving on numerous boards and staying active in the Plymouth Congregational Church.

Still, there's added pressure now that his name is part of KU history.

"I'm going to have to keep up on my exercise routine," he said.


b_asinbeer 10 years, 5 months ago

I do not agree with this decision. Students paid for almost EVERYTHING. Why not my name on it? Why not the students who paid for it? Why not those that voted to approve it?

i have nothing against Ambler, I do not even know him. But this decision is very peculiar.

Danimal 10 years, 5 months ago

I'm not saying that Ambler isn't a great person and hasn't done a lot for the University, but was it the Board of Regents place to make this decision? Who are they to dedicate a building when they payed for none of the construction and have never payed for its maintenance or operation? Shouldn't it have been up to the students to dedicate this building to someone? Did the brass just get anxious because there was a building or structure on campus that didn't have someone's name on it? It just seems odd to me that organizations can go around decreeing what a building will be named when they have provided no monetary support to the project at any point in its existence.

penguin 10 years, 5 months ago

ok Danimal the BOR did not decide on the name...anytime a building is named on the Regents Campuses the university submits the name to the BOR and they vote yea or nay to approve it. The previous news note (yesterday) made mention of the idea springing from students and staff at KU.

So I think you are getting the wrong idea on how things work. The BOR never names a building, but it is the universities that just get final approval on name changes to buildings. Just to let you know this happens all the time. I think last year was the Bioresearch facility at KSU named after Pat Roberts.

bucks1 10 years, 4 months ago

If you have nothing against Ambler, nor even know what me meant to this project or university- how can you be against it? The reason the building is going to be named after him is because of how much he meant to the project and the students of KU, not monetarily, but figuratively and as a staff person.

Long overdue in my opinion.

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