BALTIMORE, MD – Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels announced today that the University will break ground in June on the Cordish Lacrosse Center, a $10 million, 14,000-square foot facility that will house the Johns Hopkins men’s and women’s lacrosse programs. The facility, which will be located at the south end of Homewood Field, will be the first of its kind constructed solely for men’s and women’s lacrosse programs.
“At Johns Hopkins, we take special pride in our unique 128-year tradition of excellence in lacrosse,” Daniels said. “This new center builds on that tradition and supports the Blue Jays in their continued pursuit of excellence. It’s great for our student-athletes, our coaches, and our students, alumni and fans. We’re most grateful to David Cordish and all the supporters of Johns Hopkins men’s and women’s lacrosse who have made this wonderful project possible.”
The Cordish Lacrosse Center, named in honor of lead donor David Cordish, a 1960 Johns Hopkins graduate and a three-year member of the Blue Jay lacrosse team, will include locker rooms for both the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, office space overlooking Homewood Field for the men’s and women’s coaching staffs, a 50-person theatre, a conference room, an academic center and a training room. There will be an indoor reception area on the second floor that leads to an outdoor patio area that can be used for receptions and game-viewing. A field-level entry will serve as a museum documenting the history of both programs with display cases, historical photos and more.
“As a player and then as an alumnus, the Hopkins lacrosse program has been an integral part of my and my family’s life,” Cordish noted. “As a youngster, I backed up the goals, and my sons and grandchildren have literally grown up with the Jays and the hallowed turf of Homewood Field. It is an honor and a privilege to play a small part in furthering one of the finest traditions of excellence in college sports anywhere, at one of the country’s great universities.”
The addition of the Cordish Lacrosse Center, which is being funded entirely by private donations, not only provides a much-needed facility enhancement for the programs, but will also significantly enhance the team’s recruiting efforts. In the increasingly competitive world of college lacrosse, Johns Hopkins is committed to providing the resources necessary for both teams to compete for national championships.
In addition to Cordish’s gift, several other alumni provided their leadership and support including Joe Cowan, Dennis and David Townsend and Ralph O’Connor. Cowan was the 1969 National Player of the Year for the Blue Jays, while the Townsends are among several father-son combinations who have played lacrosse at Johns Hopkins. O’Connor’s participation continues his support for athletics and recreation as the Johns Hopkins’ recreation center is named in his honor. The Ralph S. O’Connor Recreation Center opened its doors on the Homewood campus in 2002.
“A special thank you to President Ron Daniels, David Cordish and the other significant donors who have made the Cordish Lacrosse Center possible,” Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala stated. “This transformative facility will have an immediate impact on the experience of our student-athletes, alumni, fans and recruits. The Cordish Lacrosse Center – dedicated solely to our lacrosse programs – clearly demonstrates Johns Hopkins’ unrivaled commitment to men’s and women’s lacrosse.”
There will be a ceremonial ground breaking at halftime of the Johns Hopkins-Navy men’s lacrosse game on Saturday, April 23 with construction scheduled to begin in early June. The teams are expected to occupy the facility at the conclusion of the 2012 season with a majority of the exterior of the facility due to be completed by early 2012.
The Johns Hopkins men’s and women’s lacrosse programs are currently housed in the Newton H. White Athletic Center, which is located adjacent to Homewood Field. The current facility provides locker rooms and office space for all 24 varsity athletic programs at Johns Hopkins. With the completion of the Cordish Lacrosse Center, space currently occupied by the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams will be available to some of Johns Hopkins’ other highly-successful programs.
“We are extremely grateful to David Cordish and his family for having the vision and generosity to spearhead this ambitious campaign” Johns Hopkins women’s lacrosse coach Janine Tucker stated. “This is an incredible step forward for our women’s lacrosse program. The Cordish Lacrosse Center will be the finest lacrosse facility in the nation. It is in the world-class spirit of all things that Johns Hopkins undertakes, helping our men’s and women’s lacrosse teams to continue to attract outstanding student-athletes from around the country. We thank all those who made this facility possible.”
The Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse program dates to 1883 and the Blue Jays have produced 44 national championships, nine NCAA titles and 179 First Team All-Americans. Johns Hopkins has currently qualified for the NCAA Tournament 39 straight times, the longest active streak of qualifying for the NCAAs in any Division I team sport. JHU represented the United States in the Olympic Games in 1928 and 1932 and Homewood Field hosted the ILF World Championships in 1982 and 1998. Since its first intercollegiate game more than 125 years ago, Johns Hopkins has been at the forefront of the college lacrosse landscape.
The women’s lacrosse program at Johns Hopkins debuted shortly after women were first admitted to the school in the 1970s. Since then, Hopkins has qualified for the NCAA Tournament 12 times, with three of those appearances coming since 1999, when the program was elevated to Division I after a successful run at the Division III level. Johns Hopkins hosted the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championships in 1999 and 2001.
“During my 23 years at Johns Hopkins University, the institution has shown its outstanding support of our lacrosse programs in many ways,” noted Director of Athletics Tom Calder. “With the construction of the Cordish Lacrosse Center, the University’s commitment to its two signature sports is now very publicly apparent. To set the bar with the first facility in the country dedicated entirely to men’s and women’s lacrosse is very exciting. The Cordish Lacrosse Center will be a source of pride for the entire Johns Hopkins community and we look forward to the impact it will have on our men’s and women’s lacrosse programs.”
For more information visit the official web site of Johns Hopkins Athletics, www.HopkinsSports.com.