Last game in The Oven
On Tuesday, Dec. 6, more than 500 students and alumni gathered with friends of Leon and Sandra Levine as the men's Royals basketball team took on Davis & Elkins in the final game of any sport ever to be played in Ovens Athletics Center.
At halftime, the crowd enjoyed a high-energy celebration to honor the Levines and their gift of $8 million to build the Levine Center for Wellness and Recreation and dramatically enhance Queens' campus life and athletic programs. Their gift, made through the Leon Levine Foundation, will combine with gifts from other friends and alumni to build a facility that includes a fully equipped fitness center, aquatic center, and three full-sized courts for practice and competition. These courts will feature movable walls, allowing the facility to transform from a single court surrounded by stands to a versatile auditorium for major campus and community events.
"Every student and alumna here tonight knows that your gift will transform our university, and we are all so grateful," said Queens President Pamela Davies, "We want to show our gratitude with true Queens spirit!"
The crowd cheered in response, led by athletic director Jeannie King and head swim coach Jeff Dugdale. The Levines entered through a tunnel of cheering student-athletes while students in the stands roared out their names for a memorable Royals welcome.
The groundbreaking ceremony itself continued the fun-filled spirit of the event, as the Levines donned hard hats and used golden shovels to scoop mini-basketballs into a hoop and officially kick-off the construction process. Queens' mascot Rex assisted them along with his special guest, the Levines' 7 year-old granddaughter Mindy.
Two alumni athletes offered their memories of playing in Ovens Athletics Center and thanked the Levines for their extraordinary gift. Bobby Lindauer '92 recounted his experience as a member of Queens' first co-ed class and first men's basketball team. He expressed his awe at what Royals athletes have accomplished since then and thanked the Levines for giving Queens' students a beautiful facility in which to pursue excellence. Yogi Leo '96, a member of Queens Athletic Hall of Fame, presented the Levines with a framed jersey as President Davies named them our Most Valuable Players.
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