Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) officials, local and state office holders, community leaders, and members of the Ron Venderly family broke ground Monday, June 30, 2008, for a new $2.8 million pedestrian bridge that will cross the St. Joseph River. The span will connect the main campus with the new Holiday Inn at IPFW and the Coliseum as well as the Hefner Soccer Fields on the west side of the river.
The bridge will be named the Ron Venderly Family Bridge in honor of Ron Venderly and the Venderly Family Foundation, which donated $1 million to help build the structure. Other funding for the bridge comes from state and federal sources.
In remarks at the ceremony, IPFW Chancellor Mike Wartell thanked the Venderly family for their longstanding and generous support of IPFW and its programs. “Ron and his family have been very generous to IPFW over the years, giving money to fund a classroom in the John and Ruth Rhinehart Music Center, two endowed Education scholarships, various donations to Athletics and the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and funding for the pilot program for the IPFW Arts Connection. In 2006, Ron’s family donated two-million dollars to IPFW—one million is funding scholarships for student-athletes and the other million dollars completes the funding for this bridge. We thank Ron and his family for their wonderful generosity and are very proud to name this bridge in his honor.”
The bridge is expected to be finished next summer.