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The U celebrates the opening of the University Federal Credit Union Playfield.

By Annalisa Purser, communications specialist, University Marketing and Communications

The University of Utah celebrated the opening of the University Federal Credit Union Playfield, which is uniquely located on the top of a four-level parking structure in the middle of campus, last week.

The playfield was made possible through a lead gift from the UFCU. This donation is in addition to the company’s generous contribution to the George S. Eccles Student Life Center, which created the UFCU The Core workout center. In all, the UFCU’s monetary contributions have helped the university continue to build a positive campus community that creates more opportunities for students to make lifelong friendships outside of the traditional classroom setting.

University Federal Credit Union Playfield.

PHOTO CREDIT: University of Utah Campus Recreation

University Federal Credit Union Playfield.

“By kicking off the University Federal Credit Union Playfield, we celebrate the beginning of a new era on the University of Utah campus,” said Barb Snyder, vice president of Student Affairs at the U. “This is an era which recognizes that achievement takes a network of relationships both inside and outside the classroom and that living healthy, active, productive lives is essential. These relationships take students from the lab to the playfield all while creating an enriched campus life teeming with ideas, enthusiasm and synergy. We could not have done this without the donations of the UFCU.”

“We are always happy to support education and we relish our 60 years of history and tradition with the U,” said Jack Buttars, president and CEO of the University Federal Credit Union. “Creating a space where students are able to actively work together while engaging mind and body is a great way to bolster relationships as well as educational pursuits. We are proud to contribute and provide these great resources and we feel it is a boon to the U campus and the entire Utah community.”

With the addition of the Eccles Student Life Center and UFCU Playfield, the university has seen a 60 percent increase in sports clubs and intramurals and 97 percent increase in participation in campus recreation overall. Altogether, more than 5,000 students participate in sport clubs and teams annually, playing an impressive 20,000 games in sports like soccer, lacrosse, ultimate Frisbee, rugby and flag football. With the addition of the Eccles Center, UFCU Playfield and two more playfields in development, the university will provide ample space for its students to participate in sports, thereby fortifying strong teamwork and tight-knit communities.

“I love my campus, but it can get pretty stressful at times, and that’s what makes intramurals even more enjoyable” said Serene Kergaye, an intramural soccer player and second year biomedical engineering student. “It’s a break from studying and exams, and it feels great to leave it all when you step on the field to just have fun.”