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Morgan Suites to enhance Lamar University athletics facilities
BEAUMONT - As Lamar University continues preparations for the return of the Cardinals to the gridiron this fall, it will add luxury suites to the growing list of first-class accommodations planned for the new football complex. This newest addition will be named the Morgan Suites, James Simmons, president of the university announced at a news conference.
The naming is in recognition of a gift of an undisclosed amount from the Morgan Charitable Foundation on behalf of Glen and Teri Morgan, Simmons said. The gift is part of the university’s “Investing in the Future” comprehensive campaign that now totals more than $66 million toward a campaign goal of $100 million.
“Lamar University played an important role in our lives and we are honored to play a small role in making this endeavor successful,” Glen Morgan said.
“Glen Morgan’s support of Lamar athletics is a tremendous help in bringing football back to the university,” Simmons said. “We are delighted to have the Morgan name become a permanent part of the new football complex.”
“This facility will put us on par with some of the best collegiate stadiums,” Simmons said. “Glen and Teri have made it possible for us to build these luxury suites that will be a capstone to the overall project.”
“The suites will be absolutely first rate,” said Billy Tubbs, athletics director at Lamar. “It wouldn’t be possible to build them without the Morgan’s generosity. We are very thankful for their support of Cardinal football and Lamar athletics.”
That complex already includes Provost Umphrey Stadium with the Dan F. and Sandra A. Smith Press Box overlooking the W.S. “Bud” Leonard Field. At the south end of the field, the new 54,000 square-foot Athletic Complex will encompass the former Higgins Field House. Fans will keep track of the progress of the game on the jumbo video board made possible by Education First FCU. Lamar’s team is working out on the Coach Vernon Glass Field of Champions in preparation for the 2010 season. Southland Conference play will begin in fall 2011.
The Morgan Suites will be built at the north end of the field and attached to the Montagne Center in the area beneath the university’s Red Room reception area that offers views of both the football field and basketball arena.
Seven new suites will be built and will lease for $25,000 per year with a three-year commitment, officials said. The leases include 16 tickets to each home game and parking passes.
Each suite includes a bar with four stools overlooking two tiered rows of six seats each, a total of 16 seats. The suites will open to the front and will feature motorized windows that can be lowered as desired. Each suite includes a small refrigerator and cabinet space. Food and beverage service will be available through the university catering vendor at additional charge.
The gift continues a pattern of giving to their alma mater. In 1984, Glen Morgan made a very generous gift to establish a scholarship in his father’s name. His support came at a time when very few alumni were making such significant gifts, said Camille Mouton, vice president for advancement.
A native of Beaumont, Morgan graduated from Lamar in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in business, then attended South Texas School of Law, earning a juris doctorate in 1978. He was admitted to the Texas bar in 1978. He is a partner at Reaud, Morgan and Quinn in Beaumont.
Teri Morgan graduated from Lamar University in 1985 with a bachelor’s in speech pathology/audiology. While in school, she was active in the Lamar music department and performed at football games in Cardinal Stadium. Teri currently serves on the board of Family Services of Southeast Texas and has served on the board of CASA.
In addition to his leadership of many organizations in his profession, Morgan served as a board member of the Lamar University Foundation, and is an honorary member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ Local 479, Beaumont Professional Firefighters Local 399, Beaumont Police Officers Association and the Texas State Building and Construction.
“The return of football after 21 years has generated incredible excitement and enthusiasm in Southeast Texas,” Simmons said. “This gift and the suites we will soon build, are icing on the cake.
“Thanks to the generosity of donors like Glen Morgan, the university is making good on its commitment to a first-class football program with state-of-the-art facilities,” Simmons said.