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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
The Observer

Saint Mary's formally dedicates Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex

Saint Mary’s formally dedicated the newly-renovated Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex on Friday.

The dedication ceremony opened with a scripture reading, intercessions and the blessing of the building. It was followed by remarks from alumna Susan Fitzgerald Rice, ‘61, and senior Carmela LaGambina-Lockwitz, student trustee.

“We knew from the beginning that Saint Mary’s must have modern health and fitness and athletic facilities,” Rice said.

Ann Curtis
The Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex, pictured, underwent construction for over a year until its completion in Jan. 2018. The dedication ceremony for the new facility took place March 23, when the building was blessed.

The creation of the Complex, Rice said, exemplifies the extraordinary leadership and vision of those involved.

“You can’t be a leader if there are no followers, and you can’t carry out a vision without a broad participation by many,” she said.

Rice is one of three chairs of the College's “Faith Always, Action Now” campaign, which was involved in the organization of the renovations.

“On our own dime, we traveled to Minneapolis, San Francisco, Atlanta, Austin, Indianapolis, New York, Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles and many other places,” Rice said. “We were advocates for philanthropy on a level higher than has ever been achieved for Saint Mary’s.”

Students recognize the hard work put into the newly renovated building, LaGambina-Lockwitz said.

“The newly completed Angela Athletic & Wellness Complex provides the optimal setting for this kind of Holy Cross education to continue,” LaGambina-Lockwitz said.

When beginning the project, those involved went over-budget to get a physical representation of the vision they were going for, Rice said, which caused a realization that more fundraising had to be done.

Though the $8 million fundraising goal originally set was no longer sufficient, Rice said, the College managed to raise over $26 million funds to complete the building.

“We did it,” Rice said. “The Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex is 105,000 square footage. It is already serving our Saint Mary’s community.”

Rice said this facility serves an important purpose in allowing for the education of the whole woman.

“When I was a student during the presidency of Sr. Madeleva, we were taught about the importance of education of the whole woman,” Rice said. “Looking back, however, it’s clear athletics wasn’t a high priority.”

From then to now, Rice said the College has reflected an increased awareness of the importance of health and fitness.

“Today, the concept of the whole woman recognizes that good health stimulates a good intellectual, spiritual life that is demonstrated at Saint Mary’s College,” Rice said. “ … Today, we are blessed to live in a country that ensures athletic opportunities are equal in high schools and higher education.”

LaGambina-Lockwitz said that the fitness opportunities provided by the renovated Complex represent more than just health, but gives a place for the community to spend time.

“While Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex provides a wonderful space to go for a run on one of the brand new treadmills or take a yoga class in one of the three new multipurpose workout rooms, it is so much more than just a fitness facility,” LaGambina-Lockwitz said.

College President Jan Cervelli closed the dedication ceremony with a message of gratitude.

“Thanks to all of you for joining us to celebrate what is both a historic event, but also one that shows an investment in the future of Saint Mary’s,” Cervelli said.