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Athletics & Recreation

Elevating the Student-Athlete Experience

ryan fieldhouse celebration
The Ryan, Wilson and Slotnick families look on as signage is unveiled at Ryan Fieldhouse. Image: Jim Prisching

Fall 2018
“We Will” Update

New and renovated facilities on the Evanston campus are changing the way students in varsity, club and intramural sports practice, study and perform, thanks to the generosity of Northwestern Athletics and Recreation supporters.

On April 5 an on-field celebration was held to honor key benefactors who made Ryan Fieldhouse and Wilson Field a reality.

There, President Morton Schapiro thanked University Trustee Patrick G. Ryan ’59, ’09 H and Shirley W. Ryan ’61; Trustee Stephen R. Wilson ’70, ’74 MBA and Susan K. Wilson ’70; Valerie M. Slotnick and the late Mitchell L. Slotnick ’63, ’64 MBA, ’68 PhD; and their families for their “transformative, visionary philanthropy.”

Ryan Fieldhouse serves as one of the most versatile indoor practice, competition and recreation venues in the nation. Maximizing its location on the shores of Lake Michigan, it features a 44-foot tall glass façade with views to the north and east and is flanked by spaces for football and Olympic sports.

Pat Ryan said of Northwestern, “We strive for excellence in everything that we do. When we have the quality of student-athletes that we have, they deserve to be in a state-of-the-art facility.” 

Within Ryan Fieldhouse, Wilson Field is striped for NCAA regulation football, soccer and lacrosse, with movable bleacher seating for up to 900 spectators and an automated netting system to subdivide the space.

Speaking to student-athletes, Steve Wilson said, “This is a magnificent building, which will house state-of-the-art equipment, but that equipment and the building are only tools. They’re here to provide you with the opportunity to work even harder to achieve your personal dreams.”

Bridging the entryway to Wilson Field, with sweeping views of Lake Michigan, the Mitchell and Valerie Slotnick Family Atrium serves as a reception space for events.

On Aug. 1 the dedication of the new Walter Athletics Center and its Querrey Simpson Wing marked the completion of the lakefront athletics facilities.

Named for University Trustee Mark R. Walter ’85 JD and Kimbra D. Walter ’85, the Walter Athletics Center is the new home for Northwestern Athletics and Recreation and will serve as the day-to-day hub for more than 500 student-athletes across all 19 varsity programs.

The Querrey Simpson Wing — named for University trustees Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson ’58 — includes Northwestern Athletics’ academic services, compliance and NU for Life programs, as well as Nona Jo’s Dining Center — a world-class nutritional hub featuring indoor and outdoor seating and panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.

Northwestern Athletics has more to unveil this year. In November the Welsh-Ryan Arena renovations will be complete; next spring the Trienens Performance Center will open.

ribbon cutting

From left, Lou Simpson, Kimberly Querrey, Mark Walter, Pat Hackett and Kimbra Walter cut the ribbon at the Walter Athletics Center opening. Jim Prisching

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