- Hannah Perry
Rooney Family’s Gift to the Mount
On Oct. 1, the Mount dedicated the six newly-built tennis courts to four generations of the Rooney family. The courts represent the first phase of the Rooney Athletic Performance Center Project. The Rooney family also broke ground on the next stage of the project.
The Project is made possible by a $6 million gift from John and Patrick Rooney (C’60) and their spouses JoAnn and Sandy. They are being made to enhance the Mount’s Division-I athletic programs and to increase intramural sport and recreation opportunities for all students.
Approximately $700,000 went towards the new tennis courts. Six new lighted tennis courts have a state-of-the-art playing surface and add to the outdoor sports complex. From permits to the ribbon cutting, construction on the courts took about five to six months to complete. The Center will be built where the old tennis courts are currently located in front of the ARCC as the courts were not up to today’s standards. The older tennis courts were fully maintained in 2008.
The new complex will feature a weight room, multi-use courts, offices, Mount community fitness spaces and places for student recreation. Robert Brennan (C’85) Vice President for University Advancement, said that the tennis courts in their new location provide a “better experience for fans as parking is accessible next to the courts.”
The Rooney Athletic Performance Center Project has been years in the making as Mount St. Mary’s has seen an increase in the number of student athletes. “The ARCC is 34 years old and as a university, our athletic program has slowly grown each year,” said Lynne Robinson (C’79, MBA’83), the Director of Athletics. In the past six years, the Mount athletic program has grown from 16 to 24 NCAA Division-I teams, and from 290 to almost 600 students.
“This is a transformational time for the university. It is the continuation of growth and provides more opportunities for all students. The Rooney Athletic Performance Center project comes at a pivotal time for the university and will serve as a source of pride for generations to come,” Robinson remarked.
Both John and Patrick Rooney are alumni of the Mount and are members of the Rooney family that owns the Pittsburgh Steelers. John’s daughter Alice Rooney Mahoney (C’86) son-in-law Sean Mahoney, Sr. (C’86) and grandson Sean Mahoney Jr. (C’12) and his infant son, as well as Patrick’s son, Patrick J. Rooney, Jr. and his wife Patricia attended the ceremonies. Patrick, Sr. was the captain of the tennis team during his senior year although he was unable to attend.
The donations are part of Mount St. Mary’s $30 million Forward Together as One capital campaign. The Forward Together as One capital campaign is the investment in the Mount to help bring the university into the 21st century through various projects that are only made possible by donors.
The Rooney Athletic Performance Center Project will be completed in stages. Stage one was the tennis courts. Stage two will begin with the construction of the center.