A steady rain couldn’t keep Greyhound fans away from the grand opening and dedication of The Reverend Harold Ridley, S.J., Athletic Complex at Loyola University Maryland, which took place March 13. A sellout crowd of 6,000 turned out to watch the Greyhounds’ men’s lacrosse team face the Duke Blue Devils. The Hounds lost 8 – 5, but spirits remained high as students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and other friends of Loyola celebrated the inauguration of the highly anticipated facility.
“This day marks the beginning of a new era in the rich tradition of Loyola’s Greyhounds athletics programs, and in the life of our University,” said Loyola’s President, Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., during the facility’s dedication.
The dedication service also featured remarks by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and a blessing of the Ridley Athletic Complex by the Most Reverend Edwin O’Brien, Archbishop of Baltimore.
A key priority of Loyola’s most recent capital campaign, the Ridley Athletic Complex attracted the largest individual gift in University history—an anonymous contribution of $5 million through which the facility was named in honor of late Loyola President Harold Ridley, S.J. Fr. Ridley was one of the project’s first champions.
“Today marks the realization of the extraordinary dream of one man, a person and a leader I am honored to have called my friend, Fr. Harold Ridley,” said Fr. Linnane. “Without his vision, dedication, and tenacity, this day and the triumphs that will follow would not be possible.”
Earlier in the day, the University dedicated the Sean Lugano Memorial Field, a practice field named in memory of Sean Lugano, ’95, one-time captain of Loyola’s club rugby team. Lugano died in the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks, and his family and friends raised more than $1 million to name the field—the new home of Loyola’s club rugby team—in his honor.
The Complex’s main competition field has been named the J. Richard Awalt Field in honor of a member of the Class of 1950.
The home of Loyola’s NCAA Division I men’s and women’s lacrosse and soccer teams, the Ridley Athletic Complex features a 6,000-seat grandstand; Sportexe Momentum synthetic turf competition field; video scoreboard; practice field; training facilities; locker rooms for home teams, visitors, coaches, and officials; athletics staff offices; press, presidential, and VIP boxes; concession areas; and event space.
Loyola’s women’s lacrosse team plays its first game at Ridley on Tuesday, March 16, when the Hounds face the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers at 7 p.m.
For more information on the Ridley Athletic Complex, visit www.loyola.edu/ridleyathletic.
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