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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)April 3, 2003

(Mahwah) – In a ceremony held Wednesday, April 2 at Ramapo College of New Jersey, the College’s new sports and recreation center was named in honor of Senator Bill Bradley. Construction on the first phase of the $25 million, 116,000 square foot center, which began in January, is expected to be completed by spring 2004. The second phase, a renovation to the existing athletic center, will be completed in fall 2004.

Bradley has a long-standing and supportive relationship with Ramapo College. In 1976, he visited the campus to dedicate the current athletic center and later made his first public speech as a candidate for the Senate in the Ramapo gym. In 1983, he delivered Ramapo’s commencement address and in 1988, was awarded an honorary doctorate. In 1996, Bradley and former Governor Tom Kean debated “The Future of American Politics” in an open forum sponsored by the Ramapo College Business Network.

Bill Bradley is the epitome of the scholar/athlete and he represents the best product of the American higher education system,” stated Ramapo College Board of Trustees Chair Gail Brady in a resolution approving the designation of the Bill Bradley Sports and Recreation Center. She also noted Bradley’s support for higher education and his commitment to students and families.

The new center will complete the equation for well-rounded education at Ramapo College,” noted Ramapo President Rodney D. Smith in his remarks. He continued, With 90 percent of freshmen and almost 60 percent of the total student body requesting on-campus housing, the Ramapo campus is primarily a residential one. Residential students seek out sports and recreational alternatives and, for many individuals, a fitness-based social life. Promoting healthy lifestyles among students and in the surrounding community is an appropriate role of a leading public institution of higher learning.”

Accepting the honor, Bradley said that unlike some public figures, he had never thought about having a building named after him. My reward was the people,” he said and added, But I have to tell you, it feels pretty nice.” He went on to reveal his one request for the new facility – that it have Stairmasters, because that’s what I use. When I come back, I’ll not only be here as an official, I’ll be here to sweat.”

Special features of the Bill Bradley Sports and Recreation Center include:

  • An 18,000 square foot, NCAA-regulation, main arena with a state-of-the-art wood flooring system, seat back chairs for over 1600 spectators and additional space for over 400 on the floor
  • A skybox overlooking the main arena to be used as a hospitality suite and meeting room; will also house the Athletic Hall of Fame
  • A state-of-the-art fitness center outfitted with aerobic equipment including treadmills, bicycles, stair steppers, rowing machines, Nordic track and free weights
  • An indoor jogging track
  • A climbing wall for the adventurous and the cross-trainer
  • Dance/aerobic rooms and academic/meeting rooms
  • A student recreation area and lounge
  • A new glass-enclosed, wedge-shaped atrium linking existing and new construction

In her welcome, Cathleen Davey, vice president for institutional advancement, thanked the lead donors, Sharp Electronics, Konica, Photo Imaging, Inc. and the Daniell Family, Inc. Foundation. Additional funding will come from private gifts, College sources and state financing.

Designed by GBQC Architects, the new facility is consistent with the College master plan and meets the highest standards of accessibility for the disabled, energy conservation and green” sustainability practices, in keeping with Ramapo College traditions. In addition, Damon G. Douglas Construction Management and Century 21 Construction Company have been hired for the project.

Construction will proceed in two phases. First, the 83,000 square foot new facility will be built onto the existing athletic center, allowing for minimal disruption of current operations. Once the new construction is complete, extensive renovations will begin on the 33,000 square foot existing facility. These include an enlargement of the gym with a running track and new synthetic flooring system, a reconfiguration of the lobby, and an exterior glazed wall system and new deck surface for the pool area.

Senator Bill Bradley, 59, is a managing director of Allen & Company LLC. Additionally, he is chief outside advisor to McKinsey & Company’s non-profit practice. From 1997-1999, he was a senior advisor and vice chairman of the International Council of JP Morgan & Co., Inc. During that time, he also served as an essayist for CBS

Evening News, and as a visiting professor at Stanford University, Notre Dame University and the University of Maryland. Senator Bradley served in the U.S. Senate from 1979-1997 representing the state of New Jersey. Prior to serving in the Senate, he was an Olympic gold medalist in 1964 and a professional basketball player with the New York Knicks from 1967-1977 during which time they won two world championships. He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977, the same year he retired. Senator Bradley holds a B.A. degree in American history from Princeton University and an M.A. degree from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He has authored five books on American politics, culture and economy. In Senator Bradley’s 18 years as a legislator, he wrote laws that assisted children and families. He sought the Democratic nomination for president in the year 2000.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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