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Thanks to the generosity of 1966 alumnus and Trustee Albert C. Horton, St. Bonaventure University will soon have a state-of-the-art videoboard in the Reilly Center, and Bonnies basketball fans will have a completely new experience.
The videoboard will provide a dramatically more dynamic experience for fans. The new center-hung scoreboard will feature two 8.19-foot high by 13.23-foot wide video displays, bringing live video, replays and other fan-engaging content such as team branding, animations and game information to the Reilly Center.
"I wanted to give back to the school and liven up the Reilly Center," Mr. Horton said, noting that his gift honors three individuals who made all the difference during his academic career and beyond: Coach John Skehan (head swim coach from 1958-1978 and director of intramurals from 1958-1985); Fr. Eugene Malek, O.F.M. (director of maintenance, golf team moderator and swim team chaplain from 1962-1966); and Fr. Gervase White, O.F.M. (a 1951 alumnus who served 47 years at St. Bonaventure).
"I attribute my success in life to my father and to these three men," Mr. Horton said. "They taught me discipline and ignited the desire in me to work hard and succeed. I have all the respect in the world for them."
Mr. Horton, chairman of The Horton Fruit Company founded by his father in 1946, lives in Louisville, Ky. A longtime supporter of the university, he has served on St. Bonaventure's Board of Trustees since 2010 and is a former member of the School of Business Advisory Board and the Athletics Campaign Steering Committee.
The videoboard is being manufactured by ANC Sports of Purchase, N.Y. Installation is scheduled for late June, with full implementation of the board planned for the 2016-17 basketball season.
Home to the Bonnies basketball teams since 1966, the Reilly Center is also the venue for the university's annual commencement ceremony as well as numerous other events. While the video scoreboard will have the most profound impact during basketball games, it will be utilized for other events as appropriate.
"We are really excited about what this videoboard will do for the fan experience at events in the Reilly Center. It also will provide new opportunities for our loyal corporate sponsors and help us generate revenue," said Director of Athletics Tim Kenney. "Al's generosity is amazing … he's been so supportive of St. Bonaventure over many years. This gift will allow us to continue upgrades to the Reilly Center, which are critical. The RC has good bones, it just needs modernization in some areas, and this was at the top of that list."
Currently, there are three scoreboards in the Reilly Center. The scoreboard in the middle of the arena, which was installed in 1996, will be replaced by the new videoboard. The scoreboards on the north and south walls will continue to be used, although Kenney said there are plans to upgrade both of them and that funding is being sought.
Last fall, St. Bonaventure added an LED courtside scorer's table to the Reilly Center.
The St. Bonaventure and ANC partnership will continue post-installation of the new center-hung scoreboard, with ANC creating all content for the displays and providing onsite game day support, ensuring the videoboard continually generates an emotional game-day experience.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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