The University of Wisconsin, Madison has announced a $1 million gift from alumni Peter and Janet Tong to replace the piers along the university's Memorial Union lakefront.
Awarded through the Tong Family Foundation, the gift will support Wisconsin Union's Hoofer Marina Project, which envisions a transformation of the lakefront benefiting thousands of Hoofer Sailing Club members annually. The project plan includes replacing decades-old pier structures and restoring the adjacent shoreline; creating new pier elements, including a floating t-pier that will house the sailing team's fleet of 420s and "Badger Techs"; creating a greenspace and promenade along the Lakeshore Path; installing a new davit crane that allows for safer, more efficient transport of boats into and out of the water; and providing space for a growing fleet of instructional safety boats. In recognition of the gift, the university will rename the marina after the family.
An avid sailor with the Hoofer Sailing Club, Peter Tong graduated from UW–Madison in 1965 with a master's degree in electrical engineering. Janet Tong also graduated from the university in 1965, earning a master's degree in family and consumer education.
"The new marina will represent a major step forward in our ability to provide safe, enjoyable, and educational access to Lake Mendota," said Wisconsin Union director Mark Guthier. "Badgers' memories of the lakefront are some of their most cherished at the Union — and the Tong Family Marina will now provide a beautiful access point for those memories. We are extremely fortunate to work with the Tong family to bring the new marina to life."
(Photo credit: Wisconsin Union)