Colonnade given formal name

Ashlee Clark

The colonnade has now graduated to the ranks of most other structures on campus.

It has a name.

The Board of Regents approved W.L. “Gander” Terry Colonnade as the new name of the structure at their Aug. 8 meeting.

Lois Gray, chair of the Board of Regents, said that they felt that the recommended name “was a very worthy one.”

Terry, a Marion native, was a former football player, athletic director and both assistant and head football coach. He was on the first team that played on the old football field, used from 1927 until 1967, where the fine arts center now rests.

He was among the students and faculty that helped construct the football stadium and colonnade from a rock quarry in 1927, said Alex Downing, president of the College Heights Foundation.

Downing said Terry was “an individual who made substantial contributions to Western.” Those included being a role model, student athlete, educator, teacher and coach, he said.

Terry, who graduated in 1928, was inducted into the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.

He died in 1991 at the age of 83.

Barbara Porter, Terry’s only child, said that her father would have been pleased with the naming of the colonnade.

“I know how much it would’ve meant to my papa,” Porter said.

Porter, who now lives in Rapid City, S.D., grew up in Bowling Green until her father went into the Navy during World War II.

The colonnade was the central part of campus in the university’s early years, Porter said.

She said she remembered roller skating near the colonnade when she was a child.

“We both had very good memories at Western,” Porter said

A swimming pool complex at San Diego State University also bears Terry’s name, Porter said. Terry was a professor there after his time at Western.

The colonnade was dedicated to Terry on July 25, 2003. A bronze plaque with the colonnade’s new identity will be placed on the pillar closest to Helm Library prior to Homecoming.

Reach Ashlee Clark at [email protected].