Excitement Bubbles on UJ Campus Following Nelson Estate Gift

Jun 21, 2023
By Natalie McKenna


  • Renovation

New indoor athletic and wellness facility expected November 2023

JAMESTOWN, N.D.—University of Jamestown announced it is constructing an athletic “bubble” on campus. The indoor athletic and wellness facility will be located next to the Harold Newman Arena, over the current turf field.

“We’re constantly exploring options that support our students’ growth outside of the classroom,” explained President Dr. Polly Peterson. “This new indoor facility will give our students year-round opportunities to develop in co-curricular activities, which we believe are vital to a strong student experience.”

A gift from the estate of siblings Jim Nelson and Lynn Nelson-Paretta assisted in the development of the bubble on UJ’s campus.

“We are so thankful to the Nelson family for their support of UJ,” said Brett Moser, Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations. “Jim covered the Jimmies as a sportswriter for many seasons, while Lynn was so thankful for her education at Jamestown College in the 1960s. Both have been longtime supporters of UJ, and we are grateful for their desire to give back.”

UJ Turf Practice FieldLooking back on the record-breaking snowfall in the winter of 2023 and how it impacted spring sports, UJ Athletic Director Austin Hieb expressed excitement for the new facility, calling it a “game-changer” for Jimmie Athletics.

“We can’t thank the Nelson family enough for their gift,” Hieb said. “We will be able to play both soccer and softball games inside the Nelson Bubble. When you pair that with additional practice capabilities for all sports, strength training and the stress it will take off the rest of our facilities in the winter months, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a student-athlete who isn’t positively impacted by this indoor facility.”

Dustin Jensen, Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs, pointed out how the Nelson Bubble will benefit UJ’s campus community beyond athletics: “All students on campus will be impacted by the Nelson Bubble through strength and conditioning, campus wellness, club and intramural programs, as well as academic offerings in education and exercise science.”

Nelson Bubble construction has begunConstruction to prepare for the new facility has already begun on campus. The Nelson Bubble is expected to open in November 2023.

“The university has made a commitment to serving our students in a holistic environment that contributes to their success. This project is further proof of that commitment,” Hieb said. “We couldn’t be more excited for this addition to campus.”

About Jim Nelson and Lynn Nelson-Paretta

Jim grew up in Streeter, North Dakota, and studied at Jamestown College for two years before transferring to the University of North Dakota, where he graduated from in 1960. He returned to Jamestown and worked as the sportswriter for the Jamestown Sun from 1963 to 1983.

His sister, Lynn, earned a bachelor’s degree from Jamestown College in 1969 and a master’s degree from the University of Denver before joining the Immigration and Naturalization Service, where she had a distinguished 26-year career. She became the first female Special Agent in her division, as well as the Officer in Charge of the INS office in Rome. 

About University of Jamestown

Established as Jamestown College in 1883 by members of the Presbyterian Church, University of Jamestown is a private, liberal arts university granting Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees as well as master’s degrees in Education, Leadership, and Clinical Counseling. Doctoral degrees are available in Physical Therapy and Clinical Research. UJ Accelerated, the newest division of the University, is based in Phoenix, Arizona, and delivers intensive upskilling opportunities to learners in a variety of settings. For more information, please visit UJ.edu.


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