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ASU recognizes Mullett family with naming of new multipurpose arena

August 23, 2022

Recognition celebrates family’s philanthropy, ongoing commitment

Editor’s note: This story is featured in the 2022 year in review.

Arizona State University on Tuesday announced the new on-campus multipurpose arena will be named Mullett Arena in recognition of Donald “Donze” and Barbara Mullett’s commitment to ASU and Sun Devil Athletics.

Mullett Arena will house Sun Devil hockey, gymnastics and wrestling, as well as community events and the Mountain America Community Iceplex.

The 5,000-seat, state-of-the-art venue includes two NHL regulation-size ice sheets, 20 luxury suites, a large club lounge and event-level premium club seats. The arena is the new home for Sun Devil Hockey with over 8,000 square feet set aside for ASU’s locker room, weight room, lounge and coaches' offices.

“The Mullett family has supported Sun Devil Hockey through every stage of its existence and expanded their support of Sun Devil Athletics in the years since. In appreciation of Don and Barbara’s commitment, we’re thrilled to introduce Mullett Arena,” said Ray Anderson, vice president for University Athletics. “With this building dedication, ASU and the Mulletts’ shared vision comes to life as we take another step toward elevating our elite student-athlete experience and further serving our community.”

Man shakes hands with another man during naming event at hockey center

Ray Anderson, vice president for University Athletics, thanks Don Mullett at the naming of the new Mullett Arena on Aug. 23. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

Mullett Arena, in the Novus Innovation Corridor, will house Sun Devil Athletics' events and competitions as well as the adjacent Mountain America Community Iceplex, and it will serve as a public venue for the university and community to host concerts, conferences, youth competitions, educational opportunities and more. The second full-size ice sheet will also be accessible to students, the community and youth ice hockey programs at every level, providing an additional public sheet to one of the fastest-growing states for youth hockey participation in the country.

“It is an honor for Barb, me and our family to have our name associated with Sun Devil Athletics' new on-campus multipurpose facility,” Don Mullett said. “With the recent establishment of the Barbara H. Mullett Family Foundation, we're so proud to have Mullett Arena as part of our initial commitment from the foundation.”

Through the recognition of Mullett Arena, the Mullett family is extending existing support of Sun Devil Hockey and Sun Devil Athletics. In 2014, support from the Mullett family was instrumental in elevating ASU Hockey to NCAA Division I status.

“There is only one person whose name should be on our ice and on our arena, and it’s Don Mullett. Without ‘Donze,’ this arena doesn’t happen, and NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey doesn’t exist at ASU,” Sun Devil Hockey head coach Greg Powers said. “The Mulletts’ family legacy will forever be cemented at ASU and nothing will make our ACHAAmerican Collegiate Hockey Association and NCAA alumni happier.”

The range of people who will get to use the building is a important factor.

“Hockey is a constant in our family and an element of our lives that brings us so much joy. It is so special for us to now associate that love for the game with Arizona State University and the state of Arizona with this remarkable building. As awestruck as we are to watch elite college hockey in this state-of-the-art facility, we're finding even more meaning in the assurance that Mullett Arena will be home to little tykes, learn-to-skates, and club and adult leagues who share our love for the sport,” Mullett said.

Man speaking at lectern with Sparky mascot in the background

Don Mullett speaks at the naming of the new Mullett Arena on Aug. 23. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

The Mullett family is a strong advocate for growing the sport. In 1998, Don built the Mullett Ice Center in Hartland, Wisconsin, which is home to Arrowhead High School men’s and women’s hockey as well as youth and adult leagues.

At ASU, the new Mullett Arena includes 20 luxury suites, two group suites, a club lounge and premium club seats. The club lounge has a Center Ice Club on the main concourse that runs along center ice and can host up to 500 fans. On the 300-level, a social deck will run the length of the east side of the venue, providing an open-air, aerial view of the arena where fans can interact while still experiencing exceptional sightlines to the competition. The arena also will be able to serve as a backup site for sports played on hardwood, such as volleyball.

Additionally, a 942-seatThe number is an homage to the 942 Crew, an ASU student spirit club that formed 10 years ago to boost student attendance at games. Named after the 942-seat student section at the now Desert Financial Arena, the club is known for its "Curtain of Distraction" at basketball games. student section will occupy the entire west side of the venue to provide an enhanced game-day experience for ASU students.

In addition to Sun Devil Hockey’s space, Mullett Arena includes eight additional locker rooms between the main arena and the community ice sheet that can be utilized for visiting teams, youth programs, ASU club programs and live events.

“Arizona State University is empowered to realize its vision for a 21st-century university through the imagination and philanthropy of its donors,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “The generosity and confidence demonstrated by the Mullett family for our hockey program and our broader desire to be of service, matched with a state-of-the-art facility, will allow us to build on ASU’s tradition of character-building competition and excellence.”

Top photo: Morgan Olsen, ASU’s executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer, speaks to Don and Barbara Mullett on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at the naming of the new Mullett Arena, the multipurpose home of Sun Devils men’s hockey, women’s gymnastics and men’s wrestling. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News

ASU study examines psychological benefits of religion

Researchers look at whether certain benefits of religion are unique

August 23, 2022

Nearly 75% of Americans are religious, but this number has been steadily decreasing.

Psychologists who study religion have focused on how being religious can positively impact qualities like morality and self-control in addition to health and well-being.  A person prays in a mosque. A new study from ASU researchers published in Perspectives in Psychological Science has shown that while religion is important, the psychological benefits are not necessarily unique. Photo by Ali Arapoğlu/Pexels Download Full Image

A new analysis from the Arizona State University Department of Psychology, published in Perspectives in Psychological Science, has examined whether these benefits of religion are unique to practicing religion or to being religious. The study shows that while religion is important, there is not strong evidence supporting that certain effects of religion are special. 

“A lot of the world is becoming less religious, and it is important to know whether there are things religions can do that cannot be replaced or if we can replace them with secular counterparts,” said Jordan Moon, first author on the paper and a recent graduate of the psychology doctoral program at ASU. 

To assess whether some of the effects of religion are special, the research team examined how religion affected morality, self-control, anxiety about dying, and health and well-being. They then asked whether those benefits could happen in another way. 

“Asking whether religion is special does not mean religion is good or bad – it just means religion might be doing something unique. Understanding how religion achieves outcomes is important,” said Adam Cohen, professor of psychology at ASU. “If God is blessing you, that is something that cannot be replicated through secular means. But if what is important about some of the effects of religion is that it embeds you in a community of people who care about you, that is useful to know.” 

For example, people who believe in divine punishment exhibit more prosocial behavior, or act in ways that benefit other people beyond themselves. However, the researchers found evidence that reminding people of the police has similar effects.

“Studies on religion that find effects based on reminding people of religious concepts have not ruled out that religion is unique in that ability; most lack appropriate controls or comparisons,” Moon said. “There are situations where there seem to be parallel mechanisms, such as punishment from God or the government both keeping people in line.”

The researchers found it could be possible that religion creates unique health benefits. Moon and Cohen said some studies report that religious people live longer. Others studies have calculated that the effect of regular attendance at religious services on health is similar in magnitude to statins, a class of drugs used to control cholesterol. 

Dave MacKinnon, professor of psychology at ASU, and Kristin Laurin of the University of British Columbia also contributed to the study. This work was funded by the Department of Defense and the National Institutes on Drug Abuse.

Science writer, Psychology Department