St. Bonaventure University

Alumni News

Friends, family gather to dedicate SBU’s RC Ticket Office to Larry Ford

Dec 09, 2023

Sue Ford with President Gingerich and the plaqueMore than 100 friends and family members gathered at St. Bonaventure’s Reilly Center Hall of Fame Saturday afternoon to pay tribute to a university institution.

The Reilly Center Ticket Office was officially named in honor of Larry Ford Sr., Class of 1962, the longtime director of Reilly Center. Ford retired in 1994 and passed away in 2018.

A successful fundraising campaign was launched in late July 2023, which combined donations made at the time of Ford’s death with new campaign gifts to raise more than  $60,000 as of Dec. 1. 

Four alumni friends of Ford’s led the campaign, working in concert with the university Advancement and Athletics departments: MJ Telford, ’75, ’82; Tom McElroy, ’74, ’78; John Broderick, ’87, M.S.Ed.; and Mary Piccioli, ’81, ’90.

“We just felt this was the perfect way to honor at him at his beloved alma mater,” Telford said. “Larry’s Franciscan spirit of service, faith and hospitality, as well as his common sense and behind-the-scenes thoughtfulness, made him special. He was a mentor and friend whose interactions positively influenced so many lives.”

Director of Reilly Center was just one of the many roles Ford held in 32 years of service to the university. His other administrative posts included assistant director of food services, director of Auxiliary Services, and the university’s first personnel director.

“Larry wanted nothing more than to love his family and serve the friars,” McElroy said. “He had this immense drive to repay them, for he never, ever forgot they made him better than he thought possible. They accepted a kid from Bridgeport and made him not only a Bonaventure man, but something he never wanted to be called — a Bonaventure hero.”

During his time at St. Bonaventure, Ford earned a master’s degree in counseling in 1982 and became a key staff member involved in many aspects of campus life. Throughout his career, he was especially associated with the Bonnies basketball program, serving as a confidant to coaches from Eddie Donovan to Mark Schmidt.

Fr. Larry Ford Jr., O.F.M., concluded the ceremony with a blessing of the plaque that will hang by the ticket office.

“In thinking about my family’s relationship with the university, and what the university’s values are right now, I think you see them in our dad, and I think you’ll recognize them in the relationships that go back generations and extend through the breadth of the friends who are here today,” Fr. Larry said. “You’ll recognize the sense of compassion, the depth of wisdom, and the lived integrity … that we celebrate about our dad today.”

Ford was recognized in 2001 with the Gilbert Stinger Memorial Award for local service and, in 2008, St. Bonaventure presented him with one of its 150th Anniversary Celebration Medals.

Of the money raised, a portion will support renovations to the ticket office, with the remaining funds allocated to the Athletics Performance Center, a top priority in the athletics component of the university’s ongoing Bolder Bonaventure fundraising campaign.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. Out of 167 regional universities in the North, St. Bonaventure was ranked #6 for value and #14 for innovation by U.S. News and World Report (2024).