OMAHA, Neb. - Creighton University will officially dedicate
the Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center and D.J. Sokol Arena during a
ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28.
The facility, located on the northeast corner of Webster
Street and Florence Boulevard, will be alive with activity later that day when
the Bluejay Invitational starts off the volleyball season.
The Bluejays will play an early match with Texas Tech at
6:30 p.m. and a program to recognize donors will be held during the
intermission of that match.
The 78,134 square-foot facility is the new home for
Creighton women's volleyball and basketball programs with a court arena seating
2,950. The facility also includes coaches' offices, locker rooms, ticket
offices, athletic training, meeting rooms and a media workroom. The arena is also expected to be used
for other campus and community events including campus assemblies, coaching
camps/clinics, concerts, and speakers.
The facility was made possible by the generous donations by
Wayne and Eileen Ryan and family and David and Peggy Sokol and their family as
well as other Bluejay donors and
Dr. Wayne and Eileen Ryan believe strongly in the Jesuit commitment to educate
the whole person - mind, body and spirit. Wayne is a graduate of
Creighton, earning a bachelor's degree in 1949 and a master's degree two years
later. He began his career teaching at Creighton before pursuing his
passion for research that led to the founding of his company, Streck Inc.,
where he is Chairman and CEO. Wayne and Eileen are long-time supporters
of Creighton University academic and athletic programs. Recently, they
established the Fr. Henry W. Casper, S.J., Professorship in History to honor
one of Ryan's favorite Jesuit professors at Creighton. In 2007, Wayne and
Eileen received The Ignatian Spirit Award
from the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus, honoring a couple who
exhibit the ideals associated with St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society
The D.J. Sokol Arena honors the memory of David L. Sokol, Jr. "D.J.", May 29,
1981 - June 11, 1999. At the age of 16, D.J. Sokol was diagnosed with
cancer. His response over the next two years to the challenge of fighting
this disease will forever communicate to others the character of D.J.
Sokol. He demonstrated wisdom, maturity, empathy and enthusiasm, and
served as a tremendous source of inspiration to all who met him. Generations of
athletes privileged to play here will continue to be inspired by his
D.J.'s parents, David and Peggy, are community leaders who
devote time and resources to a host of charitable causes. They are
longtime supporters of Creighton University and the Bluejays. David Sokol is Chairman of
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company and a former member of the Creighton
University Board of Directors.
The Sokol family's dedication to giving back to their
community is a testament to their generosity, vision, leadership and character.
They believe that the best investment anyone can make is in the youth of their
"This one of a kind student womens' athletics facility is
one of the best in the nation and will make our
dreams of an even stronger athletics program, championed by intensely loyal
fans, more of a reality. This long-desired
on-campus home, also provides a gathering place for other campus activities and
community events, " said Bruce Rasmussen, Creighton University's
director of athletics.
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