UMass Boston Receives Major Gift for Weight Room Renovation Project
The University of Massachusetts Boston received a substantial gift from famed Boston broadcaster Dan Rea ’70 to renovate and endow the weight room in the Clark Athletic Center. Rea, who graduated from Boston State College a decade before it merged with UMass Boston, has chosen to honor the importance of both institutions and their athletic programs through the Dan Rea ’70 Boston State College Varsity Training Facility.
“ Athletics improve our world because whatever our differences, fair competition fosters mutual respect both on and off the fields. ”
The gift will be used to give the varsity weight room a significant and much needed facelift. The improvements include acquiring and installing new equipment, flooring, large ceiling fans for better air circulation, and paint to freshen the walls. The remaining funds will establish an endowment to maintain the weight room over time. This gift is the first endowment for the Division of Athletics and Recreation in UMass Boston history. The 3,300-square-foot space will open in August as student-athletes begin training for their 2021-2022 seasons.
Rea is a long-time supporter of UMass Boston athletics, and is a member of its Hall of Fame. A former student-athlete who played hockey and baseball with the Boston State College Warriors, Rea is one of the most recognizable and respected names in broadcasting in New England. Rea, currently hosts NightSide, heard every weeknight from 8 to Midnight on WBZ 1030 AM. Dan previously worked for three decades from 1976 to 2007 as a television reporter with WBZ-TV, where he won two Regional Emmys and garnered nine Regional Emmy nominations. In 2017, Dan was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
“Athletics improve our world because whatever our differences, fair competition fosters mutual respect both on and off the fields of play,” Rea said when asked about his support and the benefit that sports have in society.
The athletics varsity weight room has played a crucial role in the success of all UMass Boston athletic programs. Over the last decade the Beacons have won two NCAA Division III National Championships, six NCAA Regional titles, and over 20 Little East Conference and New England Hockey Conference championships.
“We are deeply grateful to Dan for his vision and generosity of heart. This gift is a tremendous investment that will have an immediate impact in the development of our student-athletes now and into the future,” said UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco. “As our Beacons return to classrooms and competition in the fall, the Rea Varsity Training Facility will provide an unparalleled boost of confidence after the most challenging year in recent history.”
UMass Boston athletics sponsors 18 NCAA Division III varsity programs. Under the leadership of Interim Director of Athletics Darlene Gordon, the Beacons have garnered national recognition for their work in the community, as well as becoming one of the top athletic programs in the country.
“The varsity weight room is the core for all our sport programs,” said Gordon. “Having a top-notch room where our student-athletes can lay the foundation for future success is extremely valuable. Mr. Rea understands the significance of this to student-athletes and stepped up to help us achieve it.”
For more information about the Dan Rea ’70 Boston State College Varsity Training Facility and to hear Dan on our "Behind the Beacon" podcast, visit www.beaconsathletics.com/danRea.