Loyola receives $1 million gift from Jim and Hollis Forbes for improvements to Reitz Arena
Loyola University Maryland has received a $1 million gift from Jim Forbes, ’80, and his wife Hollis to renovate and refurbish Reitz Arena. The gift comes with an additional $100,000 to support SAP software training for students in Loyola’s Sellinger School of Business and Management.
“I am extraordinarily grateful for the Forbeses’ generosity, which will play a pivotal role in our overall progress as we work to achieve critical goals for athletics in the University’s strategic plan,” said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president of Loyola. “For members of the Loyola community and our neighbors throughout the Baltimore area, improvements to Reitz Arena will greatly enhance their experience as fans of the Greyhounds and strengthen their connection to the University, the unique opportunities we offer, and the spirit we foster on campus.”
The Forbeses’ $1 million gift will be used to add enhanced scoreboards and signage in Reitz Arena. Centrally located on Loyola’s Evergreen campus, Reitz Arena is a 2,100-seat venue that is home to the University’s basketball and volleyball teams and hosts many special events each year. The basketball court itself will ultimately be named Forbes Court in recognition of the couple’s generosity.
Because Jim and Hollis Forbes also want to make a difference in business education, they pledged an additional $100,000 to support projects related to the Student Experiential Learning Lab. The training will support Sellinger School students in the Student Applied Portfolio class who exercise discretionary investment authority over a portion of Loyola’s endowment.
“I wanted to make a significant contribution because I really believe in giving back,” said Forbes, who graduated from Loyola with a degree in business administration and whose career has led him to his current position as Vice Chairman for UBS Group, Americas in New York City. “My Loyola education has had a major positive impact on my career.”
Forbes, a Loyola trustee, was inspired by last year’s $5.2 million gift from Ellen and Ed Hanway, ’74, chairman of Loyola’s Board of Trustees, and the athletic success of the Greyhounds last spring.
Loyola athletics set new benchmarks in 2012 as many of the University’s student athletes excelled on a national stage. In March, the men’s basketball team won the MAAC championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in almost two decades. On Memorial Day, Loyola’s men’s lacrosse team won the NCAA Division I national championship after defeating the University of Maryland in Foxborough, Mass. In addition, Loyola recently accepted an invitation to join the Patriot League at the beginning of the 2013-14 academic and athletic year.
“We are incredibly thankful for this considerable gift from longtime supporters Jim and Hollis Forbes,” said Jim Paquette, assistant vice president and director of athletics at Loyola. “Their generosity will provide Loyola the opportunity to substantially improve what is already a great venue for college athletics, and make Reitz a compelling draw for the talented recruits who are sought by our coaches."
The athletics initiative in Loyola’s five-year strategic plan, approved in 2008, calls for improved facilities to increase fan engagement and field more competitive teams; position Loyola to participate in post-season event hosting opportunities; and strengthen its reputation as an institution that recognizes the role athletics plays in the development of a well-rounded university. The primary goal of the strategic plan is for Loyola to become the nation’s leading Catholic, comprehensive university.