Vandy's 'front porch' gets extreme makeover

The lobby to McGugin Athletics Center on the Vanderbilt campus has a new look. And, a new name. And Vandy's longtime sports fans will enjoy checking it out.

NASHVILLE-- The lobby to McGugin Athletics Center on the Vanderbilt campus has a new look. And, a new name.

And Vandy's longtime sports fans will enjoy checking it out.

The new name is "Margaret Oliver Rolfe Lobby." Handsome showcases (a la the Memorial Gym lobby, but on a smaller scale) depicting every Vanderbilt varsity sport except one (women's bowling) have created the new look.

Each sport has its own showcase depicting proud moments with historical artifacts, photos, trophies, medals--whatever the individual coaches chose to display. The contents will be changed on an ongoing basis to reflect current programs, events, and successes.

In the center of the lobby is an All-America Tree. Instead of leaves, the stylized tree has silver stars, one for each Vanderbilt student-athlete named an All-American in his or her particular sport. The stars are arranged in chronological order with the earliest All-Americans at the bottom, the latest at the top. And there is plenty of room to add more.

The impetus, and much of the financing, for the Margaret Oliver Rolfe Lobby came from the 1955 Gator Bowl Champions football team members. A plaque in a special alcove featuring a Gator Bowl mural, states: "This lobby is named to honor the spirit and service of Maggie Rolfe. She faithfully served her University for over 22 years and will be fondly remembered as the "glue" that held every generation of Vanderbilt supporters together." Her portrait is displayed in a different area in the lobby.

The Rolfe Lobby was dedicated Homecoming weekend and is designed to serve as the "front porch" for all Vanderbilt varsity athletic programs. It is, indeed, an impressive setting in which to welcome recruits and their families, returning athletes, alumni, and fans from far and near.

Not displayed anywhere in the lobby, but printed in the dedication program, was the following poem written by Maggie in honor of the 1955 Gator Bowl team's Silver Anniversary.

Ole Gator Bowl Champs never die,
They don't even fade away--
Their necks have shrunk, their biceps are slack,
And their hair's a wee bit gray.
Glasses are stylish, dentures, too,
And their weight's a tad astray.
But you can bet your bottom dollar on this,
They would suit up and play today.

Photos by Whitney D., Copyright 2004 for VandyMania.com.


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