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Open 'House'

Previous page: The May 21 Convocation celebration – the first event at the Gordon Field House and Activities Center – culminated in a fireworks display (composite photo by A. Sue Weisler ’93).

After more than a decade of planning and persuading, the $25 million Gordon Field House and Activities Center has become a reality.

“Look what’s happened,” said RIT Trustee Lucius R. “Bob” Gordon at a reception in May. “It’s mind-boggling.”Gordon and his wife, Marie “Tony” Gordon, were significant financial supporters of the building, and also promoted the idea a decade ago when many considered such a facility to be out of reach.

“From the day of Al Simone’s inauguration (as RIT president in 1993), we often talked about the necessity of having a field house to complete the campus,” said Gordon.

“I think this building is where we teach people what to do with their education,” said Gordon. “Education is more than what you learn in the classroom.”

The doors opened in May when more than 40,000 people came to campus for convocation and commencement ceremonies. Capable of seating 8,500 people in air-conditioned comfort, the Gordon Center proved a welcome replacement for the big white tent used in recent years. A formal dedication is planned for Sept. 10.

Attached to the existing Student Life Center, the Gordon Center adds two pools, a two-story fitness center and a 60,000-square-foot multi-use arena and indoor field.

A building with many uses – from commencement ceremonies and concerts, to intramural sports, weight training and swimming – it opened for use by students, faculty, staff and alumni in July.

The Gordon Field House brings a new dimension to the RIT community, says Andy Zach, ’03, a member of the Alumni Network Board of Directors. “I think this is what RIT has been waiting for,” Zach commented on a tour of the site. “I think it’s a great facility that brings another landmark to RIT. It definitely makes me want to come back and be a student again.”