By Matt Janik
Ten letters, five vowels, two meanings. The first meaning relates to the events and festivities surrounding the opening of a new building, such as Quinnipiac’s recent “Dedication Week” celebration to open the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Interestingly enough, it was the other meaning of “dedication,” the one that revolves around hard work and devotion, which was prevalent throughout “Dedication Week.”
It was a week for President John Lahey and the institution’s donors to sip drinks, shake hands, pat each other on the back, and marvel at what they accomplished (as well they should). For President Lahey, it was the latest step in transforming Quinnipiac into a nationally prominent university for both academics and athletics. The Quinnipiac administration may not always get it right, and they take their share of flak, but it is tough to argue that the overall trend is one of progress.
However, it is the donors who are really intriguing in all of this. They are not the ones who had the vision. There were not the ones to design and build this facility (rather, that was up to Lahey and other administration). Yet, they were the ones with the money to make it all happen. To be able to put a large sum of your own personal wealth behind a project that is merely a vision which won’t be a concrete object for years is certainly nothing that the rest of us can sneeze at. We like to occasionally poke fun at the VIPs who wine and dine up in their luxury boxes, but without them and their wallets, the vision would have remained exactly that, a vision. Their commitment helped ensure it would become a reality.
Thus, it was a week for them to kick back and enjoy what their dedication had brought.
It was a week for Jack McDonald to beam with pride (as well he should). For Quinnipiac’s Director of Athletics and Recreation, it was an opportunity to open a building that was his own and to lead Quinnipiac Athletics into its newest era. McDonald was at Boston College when they opened the Conte Forum, but he wasn’t the man in charge there. While at the University of Denver, he was instrumental in the planning and building of the Magness Center, but he had left for Quinnipiac before the arena opened. However, here in Hamden, McDonald was on hand for it all. He brought Quinnipiac to the Division I level, turned them from Braves into Bobcats, oversaw the renovation and development of facilities for all 21 varsity programs, culminating last week in the opening of the TD Banknorth Sports Center.
McDonald is no stranger to dedication, and for him it was a week to revel in it.
It was a week for everyone involved with Quinnipiac Athletics to take at least a moment out of their week and take in everything that the new facility had to offer (as well they should). For the staffs who worked hundreds upon hundreds of games at the Northford Ice Pavilion and Burt Kahn Court, it was a chance to ply their trade in a first-class arena for the first time. For the new staff who were hired specifically for certain facets of the new building (ushers, concessions), it was a chance to join the Quinnipiac Athletics family.
For the students, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help ring in a new era at their institution of learning (by, of course, getting wasted and being rowdy, but I digress).
Across the board, the dedication and energy ensured that “Dedication Week” was a special event.
Indeed, for one week, “dedication,” and even “perfection,” were both spelled with the letters “Q” and “U” (as well they should be).