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On Frozen Pond

Doug '77 and Sabrina Baker Gross '79 donate campus ice skating rink

Not all Alma students, faculty and staff stay indoors when the winter winds blow and the temperature drops to single digits. Thanks to the generosity of Doug '77 and Sabrina Baker Gross '79, an outdoor skating rink provides hours of enjoyment for skating enthusiasts.

The 90-foot-by-50-foot ice rink, located north of the Stone Recreation Center, is situated on a plastic liner surrounded by a two-foot-high wooden fence. Students can check out skates and hockey equipment purchased with the Gross' donation at the front desk of the Recreation Center. The rink is open around the clock as long as the temperature remains below freezing.

The donation of a rink and skating equipment was an outgrowth of the Gross family's newly developed passion for ice skating.

"In 2000 we moved to a new house on a pond," says Doug Gross. "I had only skated five times in my life, but we started skating and playing hockey with our daughters in the winter. It was very casual at first, but it turned into a huge neighborhood thing, with as many as 15 or 16 people skating at one time. It was really nice.

"The pond and skating made my feelings about winter change; before, I always thought winter dragged on forever. Now, we study the weather map for three days of 10-degree weather so we can skate. I thought it would be great for Alma College to have an ice rink for students to help them enjoy the winter in Alma," he says.

Doug, who majored in business with an emphasis in accounting, is a financial advisor who operates his own business through Raymond James in Saline. Sabrina works part time for the University of Michigan. They met on Alma's campus as student workers for Saga. They live in Ann Arbor.

The Gross' also have supported the College library, the Alma Fund, and the general scholarship fund, and they have provided for the College in their estate plan.

"Both Sabrina and I have been very fortunate," says Doug. "Our education at Alma was a key factor to our success. We wanted to show our appreciation for an education that helped to prepare us for life after Alma."

- Mike Silverthorn

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Alma College a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

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