SALINA, Kan.— Two pillars of Saline County made a special announcement Saturday at Kansas Wesleyan’s football opener, as JRI Hospitality and KWU revealed a 10-year naming rights agreement for the stadium inside Graves Family Sports Complex.
The facility will now bear the name JRI Stadium at Graves Family Sports Complex.
“Dr. Matt Thompson and his team embody the spirit of our organization when it comes to community,” said Jason Ingermanson, founder and CEO of JRI Hospitality. “Salina is our home, and we do everything in our ability to find ways to give back and say thank you. We are thrilled about the exciting things to come for our community through this partnership with KWU.”
The Graves Family Sports Complex, which opened in 2015, bears the name of the family of one of KWU’s most famous families. The Graves family legacy at KWU begins with the university’s first graduate in 1887 and includes former Kansas governor the Honorable Bill Graves ’76. The facility houses not only the newly christened stadium, but also Gene Bissell Field, the Dale and Marceline Olson Track, the Dr. David and Susan Laha Practice Field, the Nex-Tech Press Box and the Dale and Susanne Bradley Tennis Courts. The facility has hosted numerous notable events since its inception, from concerts to KWU’s 2020 graduation and multiple NAIA football playoff games.
“We are extremely excited about this announcement,” said Dr. Matt Thompson, KWU president. “JRI Hospitality shares our commitment to continuous improvement, both of ourselves and the Salina region. They are a true friend to many in the area, including Kansas Wesleyan. I deeply admire Jason Ingermanson and his team. They constantly strive to set new standards for the ways to make Salina a destination community, just as KWU is quickly becoming a destination university. We look forward to a fruitful partnership that will benefit both our organizations for years to come. There are more exciting opportunities on the horizon for collaboration.”
The newly christened facility is scheduled to host 33 games this fall, including six KWU football contests.-€¯
ABOUT JRI: Founded in 2011, JRI Hospitality owns and operates more than 80 restaurants, including Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Mokas Cafe, The Original Grande, and Chompie’s Restaurants. JRI is projected to expand its reach with 20 projects a year in the next few years. JRI Hospitality’s restaurants are located in 15 states. The company’s focus on unique restaurant experiences and quality customer service is helping fuel the demand for its brands.
ABOUT KWU: Kansas Wesleyan University is a private, nonprofit four-year college located in Salina, Kan., and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Its mission is to promote and integrate academic excellence, spiritual development, personal well-being and social responsibility. KWU provides an educational program characterized by excellence, within a caring community, rooted in the liberal arts tradition, that includes 16 academic departments and a wide range of majors. More than 98 percent of graduates from the past three years are in jobs or graduate school within six months of graduation. KWU’s music program and debate teams have been especially successful, with debaters winning more than 65 national championships and graduates of the music program securing positions all over the U.S. Multiple athletic teams have advanced to national tournaments in recent years, and last year, the athletic department’s cumulative GPA was greater than 3.0. For more information, visit www.kwu.edu.