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Oct. 14, 2003

Tonight, USC in cooperation with Colonial Supplemental Insurance Company, unveiled the new sign at The Colonial Center. A reception was held before and after the unveiling, where it was also announced that the recruiting room in The Colonial Center would be named for Colonial’s chairman emeritus and son of the co-founder of the company, Mr. Gayle O. Averyt.

Below are a few comments from USC Athletics Director Mike McGee and Colonial President and CFO Jean Duke.

“We are privileged to welcome Colonial Supplemental Insurance Company as the naming rights partner in this endeavor. The first year exceeded expectations with The Colonial Center ranking 16th world-wide in ticket sales for the winter quarter. From the Black Expo 2003 to Springsteen, Chesney, Cher and Elton John, The Colonial Center will attract over 600,000 people at 140 events by the end of the first year. This level of programming is estimated to produce more than $23 million in economic impact annually to the Midlands.

This $65 million facility would not have been possible without the $12.5 million support from the state of South Carolina and $2.5 million each from Lexington and Richland Counties, and the city of Columbia. We are grateful for their generous support.

Clearly the Arena is a team effort. As naming rights partner, Colonial becomes a significant sponsor and joins four operating entities in partnership with the athletics department which is responsible for The Center. Those entities include Global Spectrum, with our general manager Tom Paquette, who is responsible for programming and manages the day-to-day operations of the arena; Action Sports Media, which is responsible for all signage in the building; Learfield/ISP, which manages the Gamecock Radio Network and Centerplate, which handles all concessions and catering.”

— Mike McGee, USC Director of Athletics

“Tonight represents the culmination of a dream … Dr. McGee’s dream for the USC Athletics Department and this community. Dr. McGee allowed Colonial to share that dream. If it wasn’t for Dr. McGee, we would not be here tonight at this beautiful facility celebrating our new partnership.

Not only did Colonial get to name the arena, our partners at the USC Athletics Department were kind enough to allow us to name the recruiting room inside. It’s my honor and pleasure to announce that rom will be named in honor of Colonial’s emeritus and son of the co-founder of the company, Mr. Gayle O. Averyt.”

— Jean Duke, President and CFO of Colonial Supplemental Insurance