New Tulane football stadium to be named for Jewish philanthropist

Last month, a Reform Judaism magazine study ranked Tulane University No. 9 in schools that Jewish students choose, based on percentage of the student body and raw numbers.

Starting in 2014, those students can attend football games in an on-campus stadium named after a Jewish philanthropist.

The university announced today that the new on-campus stadium will be named Yulman Stadium, to recognize Richard and Janet Yulman. Yulman is the retired chairman and owner of mattress manufacturing giant Serta International as well as a member of the Board of Tulane, the university’s main governing body, since 2005. The Yulmans’ daughter, Katy, graduated cum laude from Newcomb College in 2005. Yulman donated $15 million toward construction of the $55 million facility.

Yulman is chairman of the Greater Miami Jewish Foundation and Philanthropic Fund and vice president of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. In 1988, the Yulmans sponsored 96 elementary school students in Albany, N.Y., pledging to pay for the students’ college tuition once they earn their high school diplomas.

The stadium’s club space for premium ticket holders will be the Jill and Avram A. Glazer Family Club. Tulane alumna Jill Glazer is a member of the university’s board and Avram (Avie) is a member of the university’s President’s Council. The Glazers supported the project with a multi-million dollar gift.

The club features approximately 2,300 chair back seats, two club rooms with direct field views, a sports bar, expanded concession offerings, restrooms and a large space for gathering, similar in scale to the Kendall Cram Lecture Hall of the Lavin Bernick Center. It connects to the Club Decks and to the Hertz Center Hall of Fame.

Avie Glazer, a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and the Washington College of Law at American University, is the former chairman of the Zapata Corporation founded by former President George H.W. Bush, co-chairman of the 19-time English soccer champion Manchester United, and an owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The family has been actively involved in every recent major campaign undertaken by the university. In addition to membership on the Tulane Board, Jill Glazer has served as chair of the Helluva Hullabaloo Auction that benefits Tulane student-athletes.

In addition, the Glazers founded the Jill H. and Avram A. Glazer Professor of Social Entrepreneurship and the Judith and Morris Henkin Memorial Scholarship Program. Jill Glazer’s tireless efforts on behalf of the university were recognized in 2010 when she was given the Tulane Alumni Volunteer Award. Among the projects that the Glazers have supported are the post-Katrina donation of trees that grace the Gibson and Monroe quads and Gibson Circle, the Newcomb Pottery Garden, and the Glazer Gardens and Bocce Court, in memory of Jill’s parents, Judith and Morris Henkin.

The new football field will be named Benson Field after New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson and his wife Gayle, who donated $7.5 million to the project. The university has raised $45 million of the $55 million cost for the 25,000-seat stadium, which will have a total capacity of 30,000. Construction is set to begin in January. Currently, Tulane plays in the Superdome, which has a 70,000-seat capacity that swallows the much smaller crowds for Tulane games.

“The new stadium will revitalize our football program and be a tremendous asset for our entire community. It is a testament to Tulane’s place in New Orleans and nationally when the members of your board and one of the city’s greatest business and civic leaders join together to make this dream a reality,” said Tulane University President Scott S. Cowen. “The entire Tulane family thanks them, as well as the hundreds of other donors, for their commitment to our athletics department, university and community.”