St. Ambrose Announces Naming of O’Rourke Fieldhouse


04/12/2018

St. Ambrose Announces Naming of O'Rourke Fieldhouse

St. Ambrose University has named the largest feature of the new Wellness and Recreation Center the O'Rourke Fieldhouse in honor of the generous support of Joe '72 and Joyce O'Rourke.

Joe O'Rourke has been a member of the university's Board of Trustees since 2011 and has supported his alma mater in multiple ways throughout his professional career.

Joe and Joyce O'Rourke made the largest donation to the Building Our Future campaign, which is expected to surpass its $18.5 million goal when it officially concludes June 30.

Dedicated in September 2017, the Wellness and Recreation Center is the largest single capital project in university history and was the priority focus of the Building Our Future campaign.

In his role as a trustee, Joe O'Rourke was a strong advocate for accelerating construction of the 80,000 square-foot center on the north end of the campus.

"Like many alumni and fellow trustees, I simply believed it was essential that we begin providing this important amenity to our students and student-athletes sooner rather than later," he said.

five people standing

O'Rourke Fieldhouse covers 56,000 square feet of the new facility and includes a 200-meter track, four basketball/volleyball courts, a pole-vaulting area, and pits for the long and triple jumps.

O'Rourke Fieldhouse already has hosted four indoor track meets this past year, including the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference meet in February. It has provided practice space for student-athletes in eight different varsity sports.

More than 15,500 students have used O'Rourke Fieldhouse recreationally since it opened. Eight intramural sports leagues involving more than 2,000 students also used the facility.

O'Rourke Fieldhouse provided a practice space for the 2018 Missouri Valley Conference Women's Basketball Championships in February, and this spring and summer, it will host basketball leagues for Quad Cities high schoolers.

It also will be showcased as a staging area when St. Ambrose hosts the NAIA National Dance and Cheerleading Championships in 2019 and 2020.

Take a Look Inside

80,000 total square-feet of awesome

Welcome to our 56,000 square-feet field house featuring a 200-meter, six-lane competition track plus pole vault areas; long- and triple-jump pits; and four basketball/volleyball courts (two wooden floor courts, two resilient flooring courts). Including a 2-story cardio/weightlifting workout center plus a separate exercise room and club room.

The Wellness and Recreation Center was identified by the St. Ambrose Board of Trustees as the highest priority of a Master Plan approved in 2011. Due in part to Joe O'Rourke's advocacy, ground was broken in April 2016.

Joe and Joyce O'Rourke were among the earliest donors to the campaign, adding to a number of leadership gifts they made over the past several decades.

"Our support for the Building Our Future campaign and our family's ongoing support of St. Ambrose University grows from an understanding of the value of a St. Ambrose education, as evidenced by its impact on my life," Joe O'Rourke said.

Joe earned his St. Ambrose Bachelor of Arts in Accounting degree with a minor in business in 1972. In 1965, he and his brothers – Jim, John, Jerry ‘76, Jeff '77 and Jay – opened O'Rourke Brothers Distributing, now known as O'Rourke Sales Co.

Joyce was raised in Arizona and graduated from the Art Institute in Atlanta. Joyce's past work experience had been Interior Designer, furniture sales, and management. The O'Rourkes have four children.

As a university trustee, Joe has served on multiple committees. Joe and Joyce O'Rourke, as well as Julie ‘96 and Alex Zaveral; Joe Jr. and Ashley O'Rourke; and Jeff and Cindy O'Rourke were key supporters of SAU's Assistive Technology showcase house. Dedicated as Jim's Place in honor of Joe's oldest brother, Jim, the facility serves as an education tool through which Occupational Therapy students can provide Assistive Technology solutions to the community and the world.

"Joe O'Rourke has been a tremendous friend to this university," said Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD, president of St. Ambrose. "St. Ambrose grows and improves through the initiative and direction of good people like Joe and Joyce."

For more information on the Building Our Future campaign, click here.

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