A 25-foot tall purple “N” is emblazoned on a wall within the Trienens Performance Center, Northwestern’s newly redesigned athletics facility. The scale of this design detail is emblematic of the impact of the building’s benefactor, University Trustee Howard J. Trienens ’45, ’49 JD, ’95 H. Northwestern Athletics and Recreation celebrated Trienens’ decades of service to and support for Northwestern at the November 2019 dedication of the Trienens Performance Center, which is located adjacent to Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena.
In 2017 Trienens gave $20 million to transform Trienens Hall, the indoor turf field he helped fund with a leadership gift in 1996, into a world-class developmental facility for Wildcats volleyball, baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s basketball teams.
“When the moment arrived to dramatically reinvent the space, Howard stepped up again — as he has time after time after time, year after year after year — for the University that means so much to his family,” said Jim Phillips, the Combe Family Vice President for Athletics and Recreation, during the dedication.
The newly renovated, bright, open space — which houses three indoor practice courts, team meeting rooms, an expanded performance nutrition hub and more — profoundly enhances Northwestern’s student-athlete experience.
Junior Lindsey Pulliam, who earned First Team All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore on the women’s basketball team, shared her fellow student-athletes’ excitement to have everything they need under one roof. “This is the latest amazing place where my teammates and so many other Wildcats will have the chance to grow,” she said.
In addition to two basketball courts and one volleyball court, the new facility features a large turf field and hitting and pitching pavilion for the baseball and softball teams in the Mogentale Training Facility, which is named for lead donors Eric ’84 and Cindy Mogentale ’84.
During the dedication, Trienens recalled how far the space has come since it was first constructed more than two decades ago, when it was “a big barn with a green carpet and two goal posts.” Now it’s a “gorgeous facility,” he said.
Trienens received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northwestern’s School of Commerce (now the Kellogg School of Management) in 1945 and a JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in 1949. He is a platinum member of NU Loyal, the giving society honoring consistent annual giving to the University, with 44 consecutive years of giving to Athletics, Northwestern Law and other areas. His late wife, Paula Trienens ’47; daughter, Trustee Nan Trienens Kaehler ’79 MA/MS; brother, Roger Trienens ’47, ’48 MA, ’51 PhD; and three of his grandchildren also are Northwestern alumni.