Assembly Hall at the University of Illinois will now go by the name State Farm Center. (Photo from Flickr user edcrowle)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - Assembly Hall at the University of Illinois will now go by the name State Farm Center.
The change was announced Monday by U of I Athletics Director Mike Thomas. State Farm Spokeswoman Holly Anderson said the university approached the company several months ago with the proposal.
"This seemed to make a lot of sense to us. So, we are really excited to join U of I students, administrators and university advocates in supporting the renewal of this campus icon," Anderson said.
The athletics department is starting a $160 million renovation of the center that's expected to be completed for fall 2016. A $25 student fee increase was approved to pay for the renovation and 25 percent will come from donations.
The name change will cost State Farm $60 million over 30 years, or Anderson said $2 million a year. She said the money comes from the company's marketing budget.
"We've partnered with the University of Illinois for a long time in educational ventures," Anderson said. "So, this is kind of an extension of what we've done other places within the university."
"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," Thomas said. "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 name change takes affect immediately.