The love of sport, family, friends, and Wagner College have inspired several gifts over the past year, resulting in significant additions to College athletic facilities: a strength room, baseball batting cages and pitching machine, and a video scoreboard.
A fully equipped, 3,000-square-foot strength room for Wagner athletic teams was added to the Spiro Sports Center late last year. It was named in memory of Gregory P. Knapp '66 H'00, who died in July 2009, with a lead gift from his lifelong friend, Thomas G. Moles '65 H'00. The two men played football together in high school and college, and both served in the Marines in Vietnam and became Wagner lifetime trustees. Knapp and Moles also helped to fund the Wagner Stadium in 1997 and the Spiro Sports Center in 1999. (Shown above, men's lacrosse player R. J. DeRosa '13 trains in the Dr. Gregory P. Knapp '66 H'00 Strength Room.)
In August of this year, the baseball team unveiled renovated batting cages, made possible through the Richard “Rusty” McGivney '95 memorial fund and named in memory of the former Seahawk baseball player and coach, who died in 1999 after a sudden illness. The McGivney family, who count several Wagner alumni among their members (Rusty's mother, Cecelia McGivney '82, his sister, Ellen DeMarco '78 M'85 M'99, and his nephew, John DeMarco '04), also donated a state-of-the-art pitching machine.
Several team members and coaches set up the 700-pound ATEC pitching machine on October 5. Pointing to the nearby muddy ground left by the previous day's rainstorm, they noted that last year they would have had to wait for days for the ground to dry before returning to batting practice. Now, with the cages' new concrete floors and a pitching machine that will fire 600 balls at up to 92 miles per hour before it needs to be reloaded, they can practice hitting like never before. (Shown above, senior baseball team member Joe Conforti was the first to try out the new ATEC pitching machine in the Richard "Rusty" McGivney '95 Batting Cages.)
Finally, at this season's first home football game on September 18, Wagner unveiled a new video scoreboard, made possible thanks to the generosity of a former Wagner offensive lineman, and current successful business owner, Marc Lebovitz '91.
The Lebovitz Family Scoreboard measures almost 30 feet high and 32 feet wide, and displays color video as well as game statistics. Fans of Seahawk football, women's soccer, and men's and women's lacrosse are enjoying the exciting new display.
“I have watched, with great pride, Wagner College continue to develop and transform its position as a top-tier private college in the Northeast,” says Lebovitz, who was a special teams player on Wagner's 1987 NCAA Division III national championship-winning team. “Donating a brand-new, state-of-the-art video scoreboard was a way for me to help make a difference in the College and its first-class athletic department. Go Seahawks!” (Shown above, Marc Lebovitz and family members show their pride in Wagner athletics at the dedication of the Lebovitz Family Scoreboard on Homecoming, October 23.)