MSU archery park to be named in honor of Becky and Bob Humphries

Contact: Tom Oswald, University Relations, (517) 432-0920, cell (517) 281-7129, tom.oswald@ur.msu.edu

Sep 12, 2008

EAST LANSING, Mich. — An archery park, which will be part of a shooting sports center at Michigan State University, will be named in honor of a Michigan couple who have devoted their lives to outdoor sports in Michigan.

At its Sept. 12 meeting, the MSU Board of Trustees named the park, part of the John and Marnie Demmer Shooting Sports Education and Training Center, the Becky and Bob Humphries Community Archery Park.

The MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources received a $500,000 gift agreement from the Archery Trade Association, which requested that the archery park be named in honor of the Humphries.

Becky Humphries, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, has an undergraduate degree from MSU, is an MSU Distinguished Alumni award winner, and was instrumental in planning and seeking funding for the Demmer shooting sports center.

Bob Humphries was a longtime wildlife biologist for the DNR’s Wildlife Division. He focused on creating habitat for wildlife and worked at many of the state’s major waterfowl areas.

He retired in 2003 and passed away in 2007.

“Bob loved sharing his passion for our natural resources, and the Demmer center clearly fosters that sentiment by growing new generations of conservation stewards,” said Becky Humphries.  “Activities at this facility will encourage a lifelong pursuit of outdoor recreation, and that’s what it’s all about -- getting folks outside to appreciate Michigan’s outdoors.”

In October 2007, the MSU Board of Trustees approved the development of the new $3.5 million John and Marnie Demmer Shooting Sports Education and Training Center.

The 23,000-square-foot, multipurpose facility will support NCAA shooting programs and team sports, the National Archery in the Schools Program, hunter safety and  4-H youth programs. It will also house MSU club shooting sports -- including small-bore, air rifle and archery -- and academic programs in shooting sports, law enforcement and related curricula.

Funding for the center has come entirely from private and public contributions to the university, with principal support from John Demmer and his late wife, Marnie. The Michigan DNR is also a major supporter of the center and its allied activities.  

“In Michigan, particularly, we understand the importance of using our resources wisely,” said Humphries, “and that’s why partnerships like this are so important to our future. My family and I are humbled and honored by this heart-felt tribute.”

Construction of the center began in July 2008. It will be located near the Inland Lakes Study Area, just south of the MSU campus.