Let there be sweat: Grand opening ceremony held for new fitness center

18 months after the project was first announced, a grand opening ceremony complete with ribbon cutting was held Wednesday for the new fitness center in Palisano Pavilion.

Karen Penfold cuts the ceremonial ribbon as part of Wednesday’s grand opening ceremony for the fitness center in Palisano Pavilion. She and her husband, Richard ‘68 (left), are benefactors of the project. Also present were President John Hurley and USA President Pat Eugeni. (Mike Pesarchick, The Griffin)

After a soft opening on Monday, the new million-dollar fitness center in Palisano Pavilion was officially unveiled with a grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting Wednesday morning. 

Karen Penfold did the honors of cutting the ribbon alongside her husband, Richard C. Penfold, ‘68. The two were sponsors of the fitness center along with Richard J., ‘58, and Kay Gareis, who were not present at the ceremony. 

“Canisius has always been kind of home to me,” Karen Penfold said in a short speech. “This is just lovely and I’m so happy that we could be a part of this. We are very pleased for all the people that will be a part of this.” 

“When I moved here in 1964 into the dorms, if somebody would have told me I would be here giving money so they could have a place they could use with my name on it, I would have said you were crazy,” Richard Penfold said. 

The Penfolds had already sponsored the Palisano Pavilion commons. They agreed to pledge funding for the fitness center after they were approached by the Canisius administration. 

“We’re very fortunate to be in the position to help the college out. God’s shown a lot of favor on us through our lives,” he said. 

President John Hurley, Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Dan Dentino and Undergraduate Student Association (USA) President Pat Eugeni also offered remarks of thanks to the sponsors and excitement for the new center in speeches. USA had pledged $50,000 towards the project when it was first announced. 

The fitness center will be open daily starting at 8 a.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. on Sundays. Students should book gym times in advance on the MindBody app. 

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