From left: Mike Thomas, University of Illinois
athletics; Randall Harbert, executive vice president and
agency, sales and marketing officer for State Farm; Phyllis
Wise, University of Illinois chancellor; and Michael Tipsord,
vice chairman and chief operating officer of
State Farm, UI announce name of iconic building: State Farm Center
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[April 30, 2013]
CHAMPAIGN -- The University of
Illinois and State Farm have announced the naming of State Farm
Center, the iconic campus building long known as the Assembly Hall.
A 30-year, $60 million agreement changes the name of the building to
State Farm Center as the structure undergoes a major renovation
project that is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2016.
"We are extremely proud to announce this relationship with State
Farm, one of the most respected corporate brands in the world," said
Illinois Director of Athletics Mike Thomas. "State Farm has been an
outstanding partner for the University of Illinois for more than two
decades, and this agreement will carry that partnership forward for
at least three more. The Assembly Hall is one of the most
recognizable structures in the nation and, at 50 years of age, has
served the UI campus, community and central Illinois very well. This
agreement will ensure State Farm Center will serve those same
constituents, and even more, for many years to come."
The longtime relationship between State Farm and UI -- which
includes the State Farm Research and Development Center, along with
the fact that the corporate headquarters is just 50 miles from
campus -- made for a natural partnership on this project.
"We are thrilled with this announcement," said UI Chancellor
Phyllis Wise. "The University of Illinois is a world-class
institution and it deserves world-class facilities. The renovated
and renamed State Farm Center will provide a gathering, performance
and competition space to serve our students, faculty, staff and
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"We are proud to be a part of the renovation of this classic
Illinois venue and further expand our longstanding relationship with
the University of Illinois and the state where our company has been
headquartered for more than 90 years," said Randall Harbert,
executive vice president and chief agency, sales and marketing
officer for State Farm Insurance.
The name State Farm Center will be referenced for the building
immediately and will be incorporated into the building at the
earliest availability as the project moves forward. Some utility
work on the building and surrounding grounds could begin this
summer, with the first major phase of the project expected to begin
in March 2014. The State Farm Center is scheduled to be completed in
time for the 2016-17 basketball season.
"From the very early stages of this project, it was clearly
apparent that naming rights for the building would play a major part
in the funding model," Thomas said. "This agreement complements
support from campus and our students while supplementing support
from the community."
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