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Battista Named to Lead Ice Arena, Hockey Fundraising, Penn State Announces

on September 20, 2010 3:00 PM

Joe Battista, a longtime Penn State Icers coach and former executive director of the Nittany Lion Club, will be the director of Penn State's new ice arena, the university announced Monday.

Battista, recently the major-gifts director in the Smeal college, is scheduled to assume his role effective Sept. 27, according to the announcement. His official title will be Associate Athletic Director for Ice Arena Operations and Director of the Ice Arena and Hockey Campaign.

He played a central role in facilitating the university's $88 million gift from Terrence and Kim Pegula, announced Friday, Penn State reported. The gift will help finance the new ice arena, to be located behind Shields Building at University Park, and a new Division I hockey program.

"This is a dream-come-true for all skating and hockey enthusiasts and the entire Penn State Icer family," Battista said in a prepared statement. "I want to thank Terry and Kim Pegula for their incredible generosity to make all of this possible. We have a shared passion for Penn State, ice hockey and skating, and for helping others. We are committed to bringing their vision for a world-class facility and skating programs and to build championship-caliber college ice-hockey teams to fruition.

"This new facility will serve Penn State students, alumni, faculty and staff and be a great destination for residents of central Pennsylvania and visitors to Centre County," Battista went on.

Battista, who also is a StateCollege.com columnist, will be responsible for a $10 million fundraising campaign to support the arena and programs that will be housed there.

He'll also provide consultation during construction of the arena, and coordinate search committees that will seek coaches and managers, according to Penn State.

Battista, a Pittsburgh native, is a 1983 Penn State graduate.

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