February 17, 2006

Plaza Entrance Added to Yale Bowl Restoration

Feb. 17, 2006

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale University's Department of Athletics announced today that a future construction project at the entrance to Yale Bowl will produce a facility named after four brothers who attended the school. The Jensen Family Plaza will welcome Bulldog fans to the historic athletic venue.

Construction of the Jensen Family Plaza, named after Irving '54, Colin '57, Erik '63 and Mark Jensen'67, is part of the Yale Bowl restoration project and will be located at Gate D, which is the main entrance. It will include a listing of each Yale football team dating to 1872 and will provide visitors with the storied tradition of the program. The plaza will serve as a perfect place for fans to gather before and after games. More details will be available in the coming months.

Two of the Jensen brothers played for former Yale football head coach Jordan Olivar and earned Ivy League Championship rings. Colin, who had two letters, was part of the 1956 Bulldog squad that went 8-1, was undefeated in Ancient Eight play and cruised past Princeton and Harvard on the way to a title. Erik earned three football letters and was a member of Yale's last perfect (9-0) team in 1960. That Eli squad was challenged early before reeling off seven lopsided victories.

"We want to share memories with future Yale athletes and thought this would be a great way," said Irving, who played on the Bulldog freshman squad. "We had a great experience and education at Yale, which has made my life what it is today. Much of what we learned as athletes at the school has been used in our business. It is very important to make the experience a great one for current and future Yale athletes."

In a 1987 letter to Olivar, Colin thanked the former Bulldog coach for having him on the football team and talked about how it related to the family road construction business. "I use your philosophy with our people. It was timely in the 50s and it is timely today. Our construction crews are like football teams."

"The Jensens are a special family, one that has impacted Yale both as student-athletes and as graduates. We are grateful to them for this generous gift," said Tom Beckett, Yale's Director of Athletics. "Going through the Jensen Family Plaza will be the perfect way to start or finish an afternoon of Yale football. You will be introduced to the impressive history of the game at Yale before entering the world famous facility."

"I believe the Jensen Family Plaza, honoring all of those who have played the game, will inspire more young people to dream of Yale, to be a part of the tradition, to strive for excellence and to be leaders in whatever life roles chance, circumstance and aspiration dictate," said Erik.

The $25 million Yale Bowl restoration project began in the spring of 2005 and is scheduled for substantial completion some time this fall.

report by Steve Conn, Assistant Athletic Director/Director of Sports Publicity