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Alumni gift transforms Athletics facilities

Photo by Mary Knox Merrill.

(Left to right) Athletics Director Peter Roby, Northeastern freshman Sarah Gries and her parents, Deborah and Michael, and Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun dedicate the “Center for Sports Medicine and Performance” in Cabot Gym at Northeastern University. Photo by Mary Knox Merrill.

Thanks to a generous alumni gift, Northeastern University has united two campus programs by replacing its aging sports medicine and strength-conditioning facilities with the new Gries Center for Sports Medicine and Performance, which will utilize new equipment and technology to deliver a holistic approach to injury prevention and rehabilitation, as well as enhancing student-athletes’ performance.

The state-of-the-art facility, located on the ground floor of the Cabot Physical Education Center, was made possible by Michael Gries, BA’77, and Dr. Deborah Shomberg Gries, PAH’77, whose daughter Sarah is now a freshmen at Northeastern. The center offers “a vibrant, productive and efficient” environment for athletes to train and to focus on injury prevention and rehabilitation, said Athletics Director Peter Roby.

At last week’s opening ceremony, Michael Gries – who serves on the university’s governing board and on its development committee – said his experience as an athlete at Northeastern defined his character. He hopes the new facility will help athletes return more quickly to competition.

“Enjoy it, get well and excel – the quicker you can get rehabilitated after you’re injured the better you can be,” Gries said.

Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun praised the family’s gift as “a unique, interdisciplinary and holistic approach to giving” that will transform the university and is poised to inspire future donors looking to leave their mark on the campus.

“We’re really delighted it’s a family engagement and a family involvement,” Aoun said. “Your name will remain with us, your commitment will remain with us and your legacy will remain with us.”

The new Gries Center is about more than helping athletes recover, Roby said. It also helps student-athletes make the most of their time at Northeastern and prepare them for their future.

“Mike and Deb met at Northeastern and that helps us think about what we’re here to do,” Roby said. “We’re here to help young people realize their potential and make a profound impact on their family, the Northeastern family and the world at large.”

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