Colorado College alumnus Edward J. Robson has given the college $8 million to build a new on-campus hockey arena.
The facility, which will be located on the west side of Nevada Avenue between Dale and Cache La Poudre streets, is part of a campus master plan the college’s Board of Trustees approved in 2015. CC’s hockey team will practice in the new facility and continue to play its games at the Broadmoor World Arena.
“Ed Robson is an extraordinarily successful and generous Colorado College alumnus and former CC hockey player,” said Colorado College president Jill Tiefenthaler in a news release. “He has previously served on our Board of Trustees, established endowed scholarships for CC students and been one of the strongest advocates for the college, its mission and our Division I hockey program.”
The new facility, which will be named the Edward J. Robson Arena, is a $10 million project that the college will break ground on during the 2018-19 academic year. It will replace the Honnen Ice Arena, the college’s current on-campus facility, and include about 900 seats. In addition to the varsity team, the new arena will serve intramurals, the college’s club teams, student life activities and community hockey leagues.
“Athletics matter, and academics are even more important,” added Robson, a developer of communities for active adults and Arizona business leader. “There’s nothing like a Colorado College education. This new arena will give CC hockey players a high-quality ice rink, while keeping them on campus and part of the student body. Doing so will help uphold the college’s commitment to rigorous academics for athletes.”
News of Robson’s gift was met with enthusiasm by the college’s athletics department.
“I believe this gift and the arena it will support will be game-changing for our entire program,” said CC head coach Mike Haviland. “This is a great day for Colorado College and our hockey program.”
Robson, who graduated from CC in 1954 and received an honorary degree from the college in 2014, credits former CC hockey coach Cheddy Thompson for the program’s success, calling him the “father of CC hockey.” Thompson guided the college’s hockey team to the program’s first NCAA championship in 1950 and the team went 149-72-6 with six NCAA bids during his 10-year career as head coach at the college.
“We are thrilled that Ed Robson has chosen to invest in the hockey program at CC,” stated Ken Ralph, director of athletics for Colorado College. “The construction of Robson Arena highlights the college’s continued support for its hockey program at the highest levels. This facility will allow our coaching staff to best prepare our players while providing them the very best collegiate experience both on and off the ice. This facility also will benefit the entire campus and the Colorado Springs community.”
Robson Arena will be constructed using sustainable building practices and materials, building on the college’s commitment to sustainability. Currently the Honnen Ice Arena is the least energy-efficient building on the Colorado College campus. In 2015, CC received a gold-star rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), improving on a silver designation awarded the previous year.