The Saint Joseph’s University basketball programs marked the long-awaited unveiling of the new Michael J. Hagan, ’85, Arena Saturday night with a gala celebration commemorating both the new facility and the centennial of basketball at St. Joe’s.
The celebration was highlighted by a parade of decades, in which former players and their families from each decade of St. Joe’s men’s and women’s basketball dating back to the 1940s were recognized. Speeches were given by a number of historic members of the St. Joe’s basketball community, including Mike Bantom, ’73, and Susan Moran, ’02. Other famous faces, such as Dr. Jack Ramsay, ’49, Tyrone Barley, ’04, and Chet Stachitas, ’06, as well as the current men’s and women’s teams, were present as well. Donors such as Denise and Mike McNulty, ’85, Tom Wynne, ’63, and Paul Hondros, ’70, Chairman of the St. Joe’s Board of Directors also joined the celebration.
Neil Hartman of Comcast SportsNet served as the Master of Ceremonies and honorary Hawk for the evening and was assisted by Assistant Vice President of Marketing Communications Joe Lunardi, ’82. Also in attendance were a number of local politicians involved in the process, including Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, who spoke about his history with St. Joe’s basketball. Athletic Director Don DiJulia was one of the night’s final speakers, followed by university President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., who blessed the arena and, together with Hagan, cut the ribbon officially opening the new home of St. Joe’s basketball.
For more pictures from the historic night, visit our main web site.
– Matthew De George, ’10 (photos by Sam Koch, ’11)