Philadelphia University faculty, students, staff, alumni and trustees on Friday, Sept. 28 will celebrate the naming of The Gallagher Athletic, Recreation and Convocation Center in honor of James P. Gallagher, Ph.D., who retired as president on Aug. 31 after serving for 23 years.
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell will speak at the ceremony, which starts at 11:30 a.m. After the naming, singer/songwriter Jeffrey Gaines will perform at a campuswide celebration. Gaines, who recently released his sixth album and his first live recording, Jeffrey Gaines Live, is known for his personal and passionate songs and his rich, soulful voice.
“We felt it was a fitting tribute to name the athletic center for Jim Gallagher, given his long record of service to Philadelphia University and his dedication and vision that have helped make this campus the wonderful place of learning and living it is today,” said Elizabeth H. Gemmill, chair of the Board of Trustees, which voted unanimously to name the athletic center for Gallagher.
During his years at Philadelphia University, Gallagher presided over a transformation of the East Falls campus from a small, textile-related school to a diverse university with more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.
His accomplishments include the opening last fall of two major buildings – the Athletic and Recreation Center and The Kanbar Campus Center, which together represented a $50 million investment in the future of Philadelphia University.
The Gallagher Center is a 54,000-square-foot facility that offers a top-flight new home for many of the university’s athletic teams. Just a few months after its opening, legendary basketball coach Herb Magee notched his 829th win there Feb. 1 and became the most-winning DII coach in NCAA history.
The Gallagher Center also includes a state-of-the-art fitness facility for faculty, students and staff and will serve as the site for the Convocation ceremony that marks the start of each new academic year. In one of his last official acts as president, Gallagher last month welcomed the incoming class of 2011 at the first Convocation to be held there.