Dedication ceremonies were held on February 10, 1979 to celebrate the completion of the Student Recreation Center and to name the Samuel M. Cooper Pool.
The day’s events began shortly before noon, when guests first gathered on the balcony to enjoy a consommé appetizer followed by a luncheon in the Club Pool area. At the conclusion of the luncheon, the guests were directed to the activity center on the main level where the Student Recreation Center dedication ceremony was held at 1:30 PM.
Dr. Eakin, vice provost, began the ceremony by introducing each of the ribbon cutting participants. The ribbon cutters included University President Dr. Hollis A. Moore, Board of Trustees Chair John F. Lipaj, Board of Trustees member Albert Dyckes, and Undergraduate Student Representative Frank Aveni. Following the ribbon cutting, keys to the facility were presented to Student Recreation Center Director Ben McGuire and John F. Lipaj by Thomas T. K. Zung, architect, and Art Carter, representative of the general contractor, Mosser Construction Co. in Fremont, OH.
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, guests were directed to the Olympic-sized swimming pool area to take part in a ceremony commemorating the naming of the pool in honor of Dr. Samuel M. Cooper. During his career at BGSU, Dr. Cooper served as chairman of the Health and Physical Education Department and was also the University swim coach.
More than 100 of “Sam’s Swimmers” and divers attended the dedication ceremony, and were identified by orange signs around their necks containing their name, graduation year, and the words “here to dedicate Coach Sam Cooper Pool and real proud of it.” In addition, approximately 10 swimming coaches associated with Dr. Cooper were present.
Through the combined efforts of pledges and contributions from former swimmers and University alumni, the alumni scoreboard in the Cooper Pool area was purchased. About $28,000 in pledges and contributions were raised, allowing the University to purchase a scoreboard that was much more elaborate than what the Student Recreation Center budget would have allowed.
To begin the ceremony President Moore spoke about the importance of the pool from the standpoint of University administration. Next, Albert Dyckes shared his memories as a former student of Dr. Cooper. Tom Stubbs then spoke as a colleague and fellow swimming coach. Finally, Robert Frary spoke on behalf of the alumni and made a presentation of a facsimile of a plaque with the names of the people who donated to the Sam Cooper Scoreboard.
To conclude the ceremony Mr. Dyckes and Mr. Stubbs presented a plaque to Dr. Cooper, and Dr. Cooper gave a short speech. Known for never being at a loss for words, the planning committee noted in the event schedule that “if he [Dr. Cooper] exceeds that time [5 minutes], he will be pushed into the Pool.”