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Fri May 6, 2005
Wyoming Gets Huge Donation, But Field Name Attacked
Laramie, Wy – It's the largest single donation in
University of Wyoming history -- five (M) million dollars, announced today (Friday) by U-W officials in Laramie. But the naming of the football field is coming under attack.
The money comes from two Wyoming families -- John and Mari Ann Martin, and Mick and Susie McMurry. In addition, the gift will be matched with five (M) million dollars provided by the Wyoming Legislature. The money will help U-W complete its 20-(M)-million-dollar strategic plan for athletics. In recognition of that, the field at War Memorial Stadium will be named "Jonah Field." That's after the Jonah natural gas field near Pinedale, which provided much of the wealth that went into the gift by the Martins and McMurrys. That point has been called by bad joke by at least one environmental group. Suzanne Lewis of the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance calls the football field name change "an act of unmitigated insensitivity to conservation issues in Wyoming." Lewis called the Jonah Field the site of one of the worst environmental disasters in Wyoming's history.