First Stone Placed at Jensen Plaza
Every Yale Football Award Winner Included
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The first of 337 stones including the names of 3,449 Yale football players was put in place at the Jensen Plaza late last week as Yale Athletics Director Tom Beckett looked on wearing his hard hat and construction vest.
"As part of the restoration of this member of the National Registry of Historic Places, the Yale Bowl now features an impressive display of the names of all of the men who have worn the Bulldog uniform," said Beckett, who helped nestle the first 83-pound Mount Airy Granite into the sand and stone mix just below the three-story Kenney Center. "With Jensen Plaza and the Kenney Center nearly complete, the Bowl returns to national prominence as truly one of the most spectacular venues in college football."
Both the Jensen Plaza and the Kenney Center are scheduled for completion by the first week in November. Both will enhance the connection between Yale football alumni and fans to the program's glorious history.
The stone Beckett had his hands on included the men who formed the first two classes of award winners in Yale football. The class of 1872 had just one name, Clarence Deming, who helped the Elis win their only contest, 3-0 over Columbia. The rest of the first stone had six members of the class of 1873.
The stones will cover 654 square feet of the plaza that will serve as the welcoming area to Yale Bowl. Jensen Plaza, named after Irving '54, Colin '57, Erik '63 and Mark Jensen '67, will serve as the perfect place for fans to congregate prior to games.
Two of the Jensen brothers are former Yale football players who 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 are very excited this project has come to fruition. We hope the Plaza is a fitting entrance to this historic site. We are thrilled that it will honor former Yale players," said Irving Jensen.
The Kenney Center, thanks to the generosity of Jerome (Jerry) Kenney '63, a former Yale football player, will have two separate varsity team meeting rooms, an alumni room that provides views to the field, a rooftop terrace that will provide a panoramic view of the Bowl area, and restrooms.
No family has been better represented on Yale football rosters than the Kenneys; they are the only family to have five Bulldogs on the gridiron and the only four-brother football combination in Yale history. Jerry's brothers, Brian '60, Robert '67 and Richard '71, all wore the blue and white, while Robert's son, Jeffrey '93, also played football at Yale.
L-R: Sue Wyeth (Sr Project Architect, Centerbrook Architects), Duke Diaz (Yale Athletics Project Team), Ralph Esposito (Yale University Project Coordinator), Tom Beckett, Yale Director of Athletics. Steve Conn image
release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director