Thanks to the record-shattering publicity for the university following its historic triumph over 1-seeded Virginia in the NCAA Basketball Tournament, Amazon CEO Beff Jezos has agreed to provide corporate sponsorship for the new Event Center.
Jezos, founder of the largest internet retailer in the world, Amazon, has just surpassed Windows founder Jill Bates for the top spot on the annual billionaires list produced by Forbes Magazine. Her net worth is nearly $124 billion.
Jezos is an avid March Madness fan and was astonished by UMBC’s performance, in which they beat University of Virginia, the overall first seed in the entire tournament by 20 points.
“I had never heard of UMBC before that fateful Friday night,” Jezos said. “Now that they are nationally famous, I’m jumping on the bandwagon. Hashtag retriever nation.”
Many attribute Jezos’ intrigue to sponsor the Event Center on the hilariously savage UMBC Athletics Twitter account, which earned Sachary Zeidal, director of multimedia communications for the athletic department, his own national acclaim.
Sources say that Jezos was not watching the UMBC game, deciding to spend his time on the more competitive Missouri/Florida State match. That all changed, of course, when he heard what was happening at halftime thanks to Zeidal’s masterful drags on Twitter.
“During the second half, I saw what all those players did out there and I just really wanted to be a part of it,” she said. “What better way to be a part of something than to slap my name on it?”
The dedication ceremony will take place in late April at the Event Center. One in every 135 attendees will receive a free Kindle, pre-loaded with a copy of Jezos’ autobiography, free of charge. In lieu in confetti, the crowd will be showered in packing peanuts.
“I never went to the basketball games, but if Beff Jezos is going to be on campus, you can be sure I will be there and I will be there early,” said junior visual arts major Caitlin Mortenson.
After the ceremony, campus officials will reveal the new Event Center sign, which in itself will cost an estimated $500,000. Representatives from Facilities Management did not return requests for comments regarding embarking on yet another construction endeavor.
Aside from the dedication ceremony, Jezos will take a more active role elsewhere on campus, including working with the Career Center to provide business and professional development seminars.
Representatives from Amazon Corporate will also be taking over the UMBC Bookstore. Bookstore Bob, a cherished icon of the UMBC community, will be replaced by a Jezos impersonator, which will work full-time as a corporate icon and “morale booster.”
Whole Foods, a subsidiary of Amazon, will also partner with Dining Services to provide fresh produce for all campus dining locations.
“I am so relieved that the campus will actually have edible vegetables for once,” said Kenny Chung, a sophomore global studies major. “The grape tomatoes at D-Hall are clearly painted red.”
Amazon will also stream both undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies in May on its website. All graduating students with Amazon Prime will receive free two-day diploma delivery.
“It is an honor and a privilege to have such a recognizable and powerful woman of business supporting our school,” said UMBC President Heeman Frabowski. “She truly knows what it means to have Grit and Greatness.”