Loyola Magazine

Investing in Esports

More than a game: Richard T. McKay ensures more students can benefit from Loyola’s growing esports program
Rick McKay

When Rick McKay was searching for colleges, his father—who spent his career with IBM—encouraged him to look at Loyola and its new computer science department. “He loved the idea of getting in early with computer science,” McKay recalls.

McKay benefited not just from his academic experience, but also from the mentoring that the faculty and the Jesuits offered. He learned leadership skills and connected with peers in ways that have helped him in life far beyond the Evergreen campus.

After graduating with a computer science degree in 1986, McKay spent 15 years moving through the ranks at Oracle Corporation. When offshoring work resulted in projects moving to India and China, he saw an opportunity. In 2004, he launched his own firm, 4th Source Inc., and found facilities in Mexico where he could provide more efficient service to U.S. companies in the same time zone.

“It made a huge difference,” McKay says. “Our employees could collaborate with our customers throughout their shared workday.”

When he learned that Loyola was working to grow its esports offerings, McKay stepped up to fund additional technology for the Esports Club, which has more than 200 active members.

Two young men playing a video game

Esports—gaming—is one of the fastest growing activities worldwide, and Loyola is one of only three Jesuit institutions to offer an official esports club. Colleges find adding dedicated esports spaces helps with recruitment and also with a sense of belonging.

Loyola’s club has limited space and technology, and McKay’s gift doubles the number of computers they have access to—doubling the number of students who can participate.

“I’m not a gamer,” says McKay, who sold 4th Source, retired, and lives in Castle Pines, Colorado. Still, his career showed him the importance of technology and social connection, and he sees how esports foster both.

“What really appealed to me was the club aspect and bringing the students together.”

Learn more about supporting esports at Loyola.