In a surprise announcement at Saturday morning’s Champions Breakfast, former University at Buffalo hockey player and staunch supporter of the Bulls Tunney Murchie pledged a $3 million gift to UB Athletics. It is the largest single gift in athletic department history.
Murchie donated $1 million to UB Athletics in 2012 for capital projects in UB Stadium and Alumni Arena. In July 2013, the Murchie Family Football Complex was unveiled, providing a beautiful new entrance to the stadium. This new gift will go towards further enhancing the football offices and meeting spaces of UB Stadium.
“In some way I hope this contribution will help with recruiting and most of all equip UB for what I believe to be a very fine Division I football program,” Murchie said. “I always remind people that it does not matter how much you give, give what feels comfortable.”
Murchie is owner and president of Lackawanna Products Corporation in Clarence, NY. He is a 1975 graduate of Buffalo with a degree in management and also earned his MBA from UB in 1976. He played hockey for the Bulls from 1971-73 and was an assistant coach with the program in 1974. His wife, Deanna, is a 1974 graduate of Buffalo with a degree in public health. .
“We can’t thank the Murchie family enough for all they have done for UB Athletics over the years,” UB Director of Athletics Danny White said. “Tunney and his family are great friends of our athletic department and we are so fortunate that they believe in the positive direction our programs are headed and want to be involved. This gift will go a long way towards enhancing the student-athlete experience at UB.”
Murchie has been a suite holder at UB Stadium since 1999. Along with his gifts to the football program, he also made a tribute gift in 2009 to name the renovated basketball and volleyball practice facility after his long-time hockey coach Edward Wright.
“The Murchie family’s exemplary support will have a tremendous impact on our future in so many ways,” UB Assistant Athletic Director for Development Eric Gross said. “Not only will this gift help us with our capital initiatives, it will also serve to inspire and encourage many others to give back as well.”
“I know there are some opportunities that are still available [for giving],” Murchie said. “Be receptive. Don’t be shy. Take a look.”