By Alyssa Seidman
LIU President Dr. Kimberly Cline announced that Bethpage Federal Credit Union (BFCU) would be the corporate sponsor of the new athletic stadium that’s currently undergoing renovation, and slated to open at the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester.
At a press conference held in the Hillwood Commons lobby during common hour, on Wednesday, March 19, Cline said that the Bethpage Federal Credit Union is providing $1.5 million to be the new stadium’s namesake. The naming sponsorship will be paid over a period of 10 years and will cover the stadium renovations. “There has been additional $1.5 million contributions from alumni and friends of the university,” Cline said.
Post students, faculty administrators and representatives from BFCU headquarters, and local news outlets covering the announcement, were present at the conference. The stadium sponsorship also marks the beginning of a new partnership between the university and BFCU. A new “high-tech” branch of BFCU is scheduled to open on campus this summer, and will provide banking and financial services to the LIU Post community to replace NEFCU, the bank that moved off campus last December. The credit union will co-sponsor numerous LIU activities along with the administration that offers benefits to the wider Long Island communities, such as financial literacy seminars and summer sports camps.
“We were submitted a proposal from the university that stated the school was looking for a partner for naming rights,” said Linda Armyn, senior vice president of Corporate Strategy for BFCU. “We listed what our capabilities were and what we thought we would be able to do in working with the [Post] community as a whole, and based on our proposal, [Post] awarded us with the opportunity,” she added.
“We’re also going to hire interns to work at our headquarters [in Bethpage] so that they can learn and be a part of a career in financial services, if that’s what they wish to pursue,” Armyn said.
“We’re going to work with the Tilles Center, the alumni association, and the Student Government Association (SGA) to provide enough sustenance for the whole campus,” she added.
“We are thrilled about this partnership,” said Kirk Kordeleski, president and CEO of BFCU. “Not only will the naming rights for the stadium build our brand in this community, and hopefully among the students and staff, but really the involvement with the entire university community…[is something that] we’re really looking forward to. We hope we can be a great partner since we love working on projects like this,” Kordeleski said.
“The relationship with Bethpage Federal Credit Union is a wonderful initiative for the university because not only do we have our students [on campus contributing to our relationship with BFCU], but we are also now going to be bringing the [off campus] community into the university [with the establishment of the BFCU branch in the Commons],” Cline said.
“The partnership with Bethpage Federal Credit Union is not only one that will bring great opportunities to our students, but will also bring great partnerships in regards to the stadium renovation and the renovation of the NEFCU bank space in Hillwood, which will lift everyone up at Post and make everything a little bit better,” said Daniel Potenzieri, president of the Student Government Association (SGA) and a senior Political Science major.
The Pioneer reported in March 2013 that the Athletic department had then raised approximately $2 million for the renovations of the stadium through the use of a fundraising campaign, and that the total cost of the renovations was estimated to be $4 million. “Many of the donors were football alumni. Some members of the community bought a brick, which cost $500 a piece. The university agreed to help pay for the field by matching the amount of money the athletic department earned,” according to Bryan Collins, Post’s athletic director.
According to the March 2013 Pioneer article, “Athletic Renovations Delayed,” the naming rights were being sold for $1.5 million, but had not yet been purchased, although there were a few prospects that the university had been working with.
“The new Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium will open in Fall 2014, and will serve as home field for the football, lacrosse, and field hockey teams,” Collins said. “The stadium will feature an all-new, high-tech press box and sound system, signage, bleachers and grassy-hill seating for picnicking.”