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Ground is Broken for New Lilly Physical Education and Recreation Center

November 10, 1979

Lilly Center Gbreak 1979.jpgNovember 10, 1979, Greencastle, Ind. — A Revolutionary War-era cannon was fired and hundreds of gold balloons were released as DePauw University held groundbreaking ceremonies today for its new Lilly Physical Education and Recreation Center. The $6.2 million facility will be constructed jus south of the Science and Mathematics Center.

The new building was made possible in large part by a gift to the University last spring by Ruth Lilly Van Riper of more than $3 million, the biggest gift in DePauw's 142-year history. The center will be named in memory of three members of the Lilly family (Eli Lilly, Josiah K. Lilly and Josiah K. Lilly Jr., great-grandfather, grandfather and father, respectively, of Mrs. Van Riper). The Lilly family founded the Indianapolis pharmaceuticalDePauw Pennant.jpg firm Eli Lilly & Co.

President Richard F. Rosser announced today that the large multi-purpose gymnasium in the Lilly Center will be named Neal Fieldhouse in honor of Raymond "Gaumey" Neal, the Tigers' legendary former football coach. Members of Neal's 1933 team -- the last in the nation to finish a season unbeaten, untied and unscored upon -- have raised nearly $1 million for the project. Chet Elson '36, a fullback on the '33 team, was one of the speakers at today's ceremony, which was attended by more than 400 students, alumni, faculty and friends of DePauw.

Video of today's event can be seen here: Video Link [Download Video: "Film Footage of Today's Ceremony" - 5677kb].

After the ceremony, the crowd moved to Blackstock Stadium for the annual Monon Bell game versus Wabash. Learn more about the contest here.

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