Aug. 22, 2011
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
Celebrating 50 years of Carver Gym
Dedicated on March 30, 1962, Sam Carver Gymnasium will celebrate its 50th year as the home of Western basketball this season.
Named for Sanford E. Carver, a NAIA Hall of Famer who was Western's first director of athletics and the chair of the physical education department from 1914-55, Carver Gym was an addition to the existing physical education facility. It added 54,233 square feet of floor space at a cost of $1.04 million. The most significant addition was the present main gymnasium.
The facility opened in time for the 1961-62 basketball season, although it wasn't named for Carver until the dedication ceremony the following spring. Dr. James L. Jarrett, then Western's president, and Dr. E.V. Pullias, a professor at the University of Southern California, were the main speakers at the gathering.
Basketball has been the primary event at Carver Gym. Seattle Pacific was Western's opponent in the first game played on the new floor on Dec. 6, 1961.
The Vikings have racked up an impressive record during their time in the gym, with the men going 484-156 (.756) in 49 years and the women 413-70 (.855) in 38 seasons. The combined total is 897-226 (.799).
In the last decade, Western volleyball has become a big event in the gymnasium, with the Vikings winning back-to-back Great Northwest Athletic Conference titles with perfect 18-0 records in 2001 and 2002 and reaching the NCAA Division II national championship match in 2008.
Western was a much different place when Carver Gym was built. It was a state college, not a university, and the enrollment was a third of the 14,959 it is today. Many of the buildings that dot the campus landscape today were either brand new or still many years away from construction.
Perhaps the most unique feature of Carver Gym was that it wasn't built on solid ground. It was constructed on a bog, meaning pilings had to be put in the ground before the foundation could be laid. Money spent on the pilings meant a few other plans had to be delayed. The brick that was supposed to be put on the outer walls was never added, and the final set of bleachers wasn't installed until 1971. There have been numerous renovations and additions to the building over the last 25 years.
Since opening, Carver Gym has been host to a number of events. Acts like Jefferson Airplane, Duke Ellington, Simon & Garfunkel, the Tubes, Pat Paulsen, the Smothers Brothers and Ike & Tina Turner have played in the facility. There also have been NBA pre-season games, the Harlem Globetrotters, national basketball teams from Australia, Korea, Japan and Taiwan, and the junior national women's team from the Soviet Union. The U.S. and Canadian national volleyball teams played a match at Carver Gym, and Vice President Hubert Humphrey spoke in the building.
WWU Rowing National Championship Celebration
Help celebrate the 8th national championship by the WWU Women's Rowing program.
Vikings Tied for 7th After First Day of WWU Invite
Michael Butler and Brody Bonfilio tied for 8th in strong tournament field
Vikings Have Tough First Day at Rose City...
WWU is in 14th place after first day of Division I tournament
Men's Soccer Earns GNAC Team of the Week Honor
WWU opened conference play with wins vs. Saint Martin’s and at Seattle Pacifiic last week
Drew Farnsworth Named GNAC Offensive Player of ...
Freshman forward scored 2 goals, including a late equalizer, as WWU won twice last week
Gabriela Pelogi Honored as GNAC Offensive...
Junior forward totaled 2 goals and an assist during a pair of wins for the Vikings last week
WWU Nets Golden Goal in 3-2 Comeback Win Over SPU
Stephen Jinneman nets golden goal in 93rd minute with header off assist from Garrett Strawn
Vikings Handle Saint Martin's 6-1 To Remain...
Women's soccer improves to 7-0 on the season and extend winning streak to 31 straight
Vikings Open Season with Victory at SMU Invite
WWU men's golf opens season with 5-stoke victory in 13-team tournament
Cross Country Turns in Solid Performances in...
Vikings have strong showing against tough field in Minnesota, also compete at Saint Martin’...
Vikings Hold Lead at Saint Martin's Golf...
Junior Michael Butler is tied for 2nd place with two-round total of 3-under-par 139
Carver Memories -- Sept. 12, 2017
In Memoriam: Bill Palmer passes at 67, Had impact on WWU, as it did on him
WWU Travels to Roy Griak Invitational, SMU...
Vikings set to compete in Minnesota and at Saint Martin's (Lacey, Wash.) on Saturday
Winning Streak Reaches 30 in 4-0 Victory over SFU
Top-ranked women's soccer team defeats Simon Fraser 4-0
Men's Soccer Opens GNAC Play with 3-2 Win over ...
Vikings hold on for 3-2 win after going up 3-2 over SMU