A newly created endowment to Ithaca College’s natatorium in the Athletics and Events Center will sustain the pool’s operational costs for generations of IC and Ithaca community members to enjoy. The Kelsey Partridge Bird Natatorium, named in honor of Kelsey Partridge Bird, daughter of alumni donors Lee ‘86 and Linda ‘86 Bird, was dedicated on Saturday, December 1, during the Bomber Invitational.
“The Athletics and Events Center and natatorium are exceptional resources for our community, with the pool in particular serving as one of the best facilities in the Northeast,” shared Susan Bassett ‘79, director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports. “The Kelsey Partridge Bird Natatorium is the first IC facility to benefit from an endowment that will help keep it in top operational condition; this is a truly transformative gift, and our community is deeply grateful to the Bird family for their generosity.”
Lee Bird, an All-American swimmer while at IC, met his wife, Linda, through their high school swim team. Both Lee and Linda graduated from IC’s School of Business. Active in the college community as an undergrad, Lee has maintained his ties to IC since graduating. “During my career journey, I’ve stayed close to my business school professors and my swim coaches who still coach at IC,” Lee says. “When you have those unique friendships, you stay close to the school that way.” Lee has served as a distinguished executive lecturer in the School of Business, and among other appointments served on the Athletics and Events Center National Committee during the facility’s construction from 2009-2011.
“Linda and I wanted to contribute to the naming of the pool because we love IC’s swim program,” Lee says. “IC has the coaches and facilities that provide the best environment for top performance. The program needs a great facility to be a truly top-flight swim program.”