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Published: 9/6/2008

$1.7M gift to help build new arena in Bowling Green

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER

BOWLING GREEN Allen Schmidthorst likes to do things quietly, but his latest move is making quite a bang.

Mr. Schmidthorst and his wife, Carol, have given $1.7 million toward the construction of Bowling Green State University s Stroh Center, a multipurpose arena that is scheduled to open in 2012.

The center will take the place of Anderson Arena as the home of the Falcons volleyball and men s and women s basketball teams. Anderson Arena will be used for gymnastics and student-athlete support services.

It was named for Harold Anderson, who coached at BG from 1942 to 1963. He died in 1967.

The Schmidthorst Pavilion, which will house the practice area, will be named in honor of the couple from Lima, Ohio.

BG is a special place and a great university, Mr. Schmidt horst said. There s a need for a new basketball center. They made the decision to go forward on the project and I jumped right in. Mr. Schmidthorst, 68, is a hotel, restaurant, and real estate management entrepreneur, whose work includes the recently opened Hampton Inn and Suites in Rossford.

He estimated that he attends eight to 10 basketball games at BG each year. But until now, he s stayed out of the spotlight.

A lot of people just kind of do things quietly and don t talk a lot about what they ve accomplished, he said. You could put me in that category.

He attended BGSU for one year in 1957 before dropping out to join the work force.

Within about five years, he became involved in real estate and now owns hotels and restaurants in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.

He was to be honored at last night s Falcon Club event at Perry Stadium and is scheduled to be introduced during tonight s home football game between BGSU and Minnesota.

Allen s time at BGSU helped set a foundation for his future business success, Athletics Director Greg Christopher said in a statement.

Bowling Green is a special place for Allen, and now he is helping reshape the campus through his passion for Falcon basketball.

The Schmidthorst Pavilion will provide a quality practice space for our teams. We know that top-quality facilities help attract top-quality students and athletes.

This is important to BGSU as we work to enhance our athletic programs.

He said he hopes to raise $2.5 million more by next summer to reach the private promotion goal of $14 million for the Stroh Center, which is expected to cost about $36 million.

Contact Ryan Autullo at:rautullo@theblade.com



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