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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA Greek Life welcomes Geraldo Rivera Greek Heritage Park

Brandi Walker

Geraldo Rivera and his wife, Erica, donated $500,000 to the UA at the groundbreaking of the Geraldo Rivera Greek Heritage Park on Friday.

Members of UA Greek Life and community members gathered near the corner of East First Street and North Cherry Avenue for the groundbreaking of the Geraldo Rivera Greek Heritage Park to celebrate the Greek Life 100 year anniversary at the UA on Friday.

“As greeks, we should be proud of our heritage and proud of the strong foundation we have created,” said Johanne Ives, dean of students for Fraternity & Sorority Programs, at the groundbreaking event. “The Geraldo Rivera Greek Heritage Park is the perfect place to capture our heritage where everyone can leave their legacy. It will be a permanent location in the heart of the greek village to commemorate the 100 year history of our community and its many years to come.”

UA President Ann Weaver Hart spoke at the groundbreaking of the park, thanking those who made it possible.

“We have over 50,000 alumni from our fraternal organizations,” Hart said. “I am so grateful to be able to celebrate the foundation of this park.”

Melissa Vito, senior vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, said there are examples all over campus where Greek Life members have left legacies.

“Whether it’s buildings, or programs, or academic areas, the fraternity and sorority members who have been a part of the UA have left a legacy to support students for decades to come,” Vito said. “But we’ve never had an opportunity to leave a legacy for our own community, and the celebration today symbolizes that legacy. This celebrates greek heritage on our campus, but it is really about building a community for all members of the community.”

The park is located between a sorority house and an academic support building.

Vito said she hopes this park will draw others to the community to learn about greek heritage, “but ultimately to be another green space on campus where people can pause, and connect and celebrate being a part of the UA community.”

There will be an archway over the entrance of the park that reads “All are Welcome,” according to the blueprint of the finished park.

“The point of this park is to celebrate greek heritage but to continue to help build community at the UA so we create strong alumni connections and a sense of community and bear down spirit that is unlike anything else in the country,” Vito said.

At the time of the groundbreaking ceremony, Ives said that UA Greek Life has raised $900,000 toward their centennial campaign goal.

“Fifty years ago, Geraldo Rivera transferred to the UA as a junior after attending State University of New York Maritime College. Geraldo graduated from the UA with a degree in business and public administration, he played goalie on the lacrosse team and joined Tau Delta Phi fraternity. Throughout his 45 year career, Geraldo has received more than 170 awards for journalism,” Ives said. “We are filled with gratitude that Geraldo and [his wife, Erica,] believe in our goal to provide current and future generations of fraternity members with exceptional educational programs that will equip them to meet the challenges ahead on facing them as leaders today.”

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