Fairfield University Unveils New Arena Name

Fairfield University Unveils New Arena Name

Leo D. Mahoney Arena, Fairfield University

On September 28, Fairfield named the new $51 million on-campus facility the Leo D. Mahoney Arena and celebrated the historic day with a cornerstone ceremony, filling a time capsule with special messages and memories — from students, alumni, Trustees, and administrators — for future generations of Stags to access and read.

"Our rise has been predicated on a commitment to our core values, and this building will carry forward our commitment to cura personalis — in the spirit of our tradition — serving the life of the mind, body, and spirit of our students and community."

— University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 was a historic day for Fairfield University. University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, announced that Fairfield’s new $51 million, 85,000-square foot arena is named the Leo D. Mahoney Arena. The 100-percent donor-funded arena which will officially open in November, replaces the institution's long-standing landmark Alumni Hall.

A leadership gift by Fairfield University Board of Trustee Shelagh Mahoney-McNamee ’87 — the single largest by an alumna in the University’s history  will have a significant impact on the University’s athletics programs and the student experience on campus.

“This historic gift and naming of Fairfield’s new arena is a significant milestone as the University continues its rise as an institution of national prominence, and a model of the modern, Jesuit Catholic university,” said Dr. Nemec. “Our rise has been predicated on a commitment to our core values, and this building will carry forward our commitment to cura personalis — in the spirit of our tradition — serving the life of the mind, body, and spirit of our students and community. This moment is filled with immense gratitude and personifies the commitment and caring of our Fairfield family.”

“It is an honor to be a part of this new chapter in Fairfield’s history,” said Mahoney-McNamee. “I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to my alma mater, which has given me so much both personally and professionally, and to honor my father with this dedication. This new arena will be a hub of Stag spirit and tradition, school engagement, and lifelong memories for the entire University community. Go Stags!”

Following the Mahoney Arena naming announcement, students, administrators, alumni, Ttrustees, and special guests gathered for a Cornerstone Ceremony to commemorate the momentous day and fill a time capsule with mementos and heartfelt messages for future generations of Stags to access.

“This is so much more than a new building,” Aliyah Seenauth ’23, vice president for the Fairfield University Student Association, shared during her remarks at the Cornerstone Ceremony. “This is a special place that will serve to further strengthen our campus community. I know that every time I enter the arena, I will be ecstatic to be in the company of my fellow Stags, celebrating achievement, building connections, and bonding with others who are so proud to be tied to Fairfield.”

The Leo D. Mahoney Arena is scheduled to open on November 18, 2022 with a women’s basketball game against Stonehill College. The men’s basketball team will play their first game in the Arena on Saturday, December 3 against Saint Peters. Season tickets for the 2022-23 Fairfield Men's and Women's Basketball season are on sale now. Visit FairfieldStags.com to purchase tickets and for more information.

About Leo D. Mahoney

Leo D. Mahoney and his loving wife of 46 years, Joan E. Mahoney, were the children of Irish immigrants and did not attend college themselves. Leo and Joan’s belief in the importance of Jesuit education and their Catholic values led them to support all three of their children, Shelagh Mahoney ’87, Meghan Mahoney ’89, and Patrick Mahoney ‘93, in attending Fairfield University. Fairfield held a special place in their hearts as they watched their children develop into the people they are today. In the early 1990’s Leo sat on the Fairfield University Trustees Advisory Council. Leo was the president and co-founder of one of the largest suppliers of road salt in the northeastern United States. Beginning in the early 1950s with a single contract for salt with the City of Lowell, Mass., the business grew steadily over the next 60 years. Leo actively engaged his children in his philanthropic and business endeavors. He took pleasure in passing along the lessons learned, especially the importance of making decisions with your heart. Leo was active in the company until the time of his death, always stopping by the office after daily Mass to work with his daughter, Shelagh Mahoney, who is now president of his companies. While Leo always enjoyed the give and take of business, he was happiest spending time with friends and family, and especially his cherished grandchildren: Molly McNamee Cary, Sean McNamee, Michael McNamee, Leo McNamee, Kate McNamee, James Finneral, Grace Finneral, and Finn Mahoney.

Leo's daughter Shelagh is a Fairfield University alumna, Board of Trustee member, and supporter of Fairfield University. Shelagh and her husband Joe McNamee are the happy parents of five children, all of whom have received Jesuit educations: two current Fairfield University students, two Fairfield University alumni, one Boston College alum, and parents-in-law to one Fairfield University alum.

Leo D. Mahoney Arena Announcement

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