Sebo Center dedication recognizes donors, coach

Alison Kemp and Alison Kemp

Bob Sebo’s dream has come true. The athletic facility he wanted the University to have was dedicated during a Saturday-morning ceremony before the football game.

Student athletes from BGSU’s 18 varsity sports will use the Sebo Athletic Center for training and treatment. The football team’s locker room is now housed there, as are meeting rooms and offices.

In an outdoor ceremony, Sebo and the other 496 donors were recognized for their efforts in funding this facility.

Mike Marsh, the chair of the Board of Trustees, began the ceremony by talking about Greg Christopher, the University’s athletic director, because he wanted the stalled building plans for a new athletic facility completed.

Christopher talked about the unsung heroes, starting with Urban Meyer, the University’s football coach before Gregg Brandon. When Meyer arrived in 2001, talks for a new student-athlete center began with Sebo.

The Sebo Athletic Center has done many things already for the University, but there is one aspect Christopher mentioned that is not something material.

‘The one thing that stands above all – pride,’ Christopher said.

He explained that seeing the athletes’ faces and body language when they entered the facility for the first time this school year showed how much pride they have for the center.

The president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, volleyball player Stephanie Swiger, said the Sebo Athletic Center shows how much the donors believe in the University’s athletes.

‘It will help to propel BGSU teams to the top of the MAC conference,’ she said, adding the center will also help bring students to the school.

‘It’s a symbol of possibilities,’ University President Sidney Ribeau said.

The Sebo Athletic Center is part of the Building Dreams campaign, which is the centennial campaign for the University.

The campaign aims to raise $120 million by December 2008. To date, $117 million has been raised, Ribeau said.

‘We’re building dreams, athletic dreams, academic dreams,’ Ribeau said.

During Sebo’s speech, he said the building that was built was the architect’s first rendition.

He wanted a building that was brass and glass, and that’s what he got.

‘No one’s going to miss it,’ Sebo said.

One of his favorite parts of the facility is the band stands.

He had a vision where ‘our fabulous Falcon Marching Band [can sit], where people on both sides can see and hear them,’ he said.

The band stands are named after Roy Weger, a University music professor from 1953 to 1965, who is now deceased. His son Mike, a BGSU football all-American who played in the NFL, made the donation for the stands.

Sebo also discussed the new FieldTurf. He said God may not have graduated from Bowling Green, but that he was looking down on BGSU the night of the BGSU-Miami game last November.

‘Ruining the field made it easy to replace,’ Sebo said. Only gifted dollars were used to update the field.

The dedication ceremony ended with a performance by the HeeBeeBGs of the University Men’s Chorus.

They started to sing, and then stopped mid-line. The group conferred for a couple of seconds and started singing again, this time with the lyrics changed to ‘Bob Sebo,’ ‘our student athletes love you so’ and ‘thank you for all you’ve done.’