Names family gives generously again

Elisabeth Connett

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On the north side of the Names gym, there is an inscription in honor of this generous family of benefactors. Photo by Eliza Burgess

In September, students, alumni, fans, parents, Bellarmine teams and opposing teams gathered to enjoy games on the newly renovated Memorial Field. The renovation was made possible partly because of the generous gift by the Names Family Foundation which has a mission of generosity and a passion for sports.The Names Family’s first gift to Bellarmine— the creation on the Names Gym—was in the early 1980s. The Foundation Board describes their latest gift as coming “full circle and celebrating our founders, Scott and Sis’s original gift.”

Scott and Sis Names started an athletic equipment store in 1957 because they had always been involved and interested in sports. Along the way, they befriended a young athlete, Phil Knight, who was selling track shoes from the trunk of his car. The Names believed in that young man’s drive and passion and were some of the first to invest in him and his idea. In 1964, his idea became a company called Blue Ribbon Sports, which later became Nike. Phil Knight and Nike have become an international success story.

The Names Family investment allowed them to fully fund the Names Gym in 1982 and fund other local athletic facilities such as the ones at Pacific Lutheran University and University of Puget Sound. Their investment continues to grow today which has allowed them to create a family partnership and a charitable foundation to support projects such as the renovations of Memorial Field.

Five Names family members have gone to Bellarmine and played a variety of sports there. Monica Names King ‘86, said, “Playing sports allowed me the opportunity to learn how to be a team player, how to lose graciously and win humbly, and work hard which all can be applied to my everyday life in work, home and family.”

The Bellarmine community has been greatly impacted by the Names Foundation’s gifts. Athletic Director Ed Ploof said, “Beyond just the facilities, I think the biggest thing they have done is that they have helped us create a better community.”

The full construction of the Names Gym, and funds to the Scott and Sis Names Track and Field Complex, the home side Memorial Field bleachers, the St.Ignatius Loyola Center which includes the Booster Gym and Fitness Center, the Bellarmine endowment to maintain these facilities are the many gifts that the Names Foundation has given to the Bellarmine community.

When asked what she would say to the Names family, principal Cindy Davis said, “I would tell them that in my 34 years at Bellarmine, I have witnessed thousands of students who have been touched by their generosity.”

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