Perkins and Keith Donnelly jump and jive to the tunes of Jim
Miller and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra on Saturday night, Jan.
29, at Memorial Gymnasium. Perkins and Donnelly teach swing
dance through IM-Rec
Gym celebrates 75th
honor of Memorial Gymnasium's 75th anniversary, Intramural-Recreational
Sports hosted a week-long celebration that culminated with a swing
dance Jan. 29, reminiscent of the days when Glenn Miller and Tommy
Dorsey played to capacity crowds there.
Memorial Gym still attracts about 1,000 visitors daily, who use
its numerous facilities. But gone are the times when the gym served
as the cultural hub for the University and Charlottesville community.
"Satchmo" Armstrong and rock-n-roll legend Chuck Berry
Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his "Stab in the Back"
speech at the gym in 1940, which denounced Italy's declaration
of war on France.
John F. Kennedy spoke at the 1958 U.Va. Law Day Dinner, held in
the gym, and was accompanied by his brothers, Robert and Ted,
both of whom are graduates of U.Va.'s Law
share some of these poignant moments with today's visitors, a
photo exhibit was on display in the gym throughout the week, said
facility manager Sarah Benbow, who hopes to find a permanent location
in the gym for the exhibit.
Memorial Gymnasium was built in honor of U.Va. students and alumni
who died in World War I. The $300,000 project was one of the biggest
gyms in the East when it opened in 1924. At that time, it was
home to the physical education program as well as the varsity
basketball, varsity boxing and indoor track teams. The gym remained
home to U.Va. athletics administration until the offices moved
to University Hall in 1965.
the gym boasts the nation's oldest indoor track, according to
Benbow. It also has a lap pool, boxing and free-weight equipment
used by students, faculty and staff. To learn more about IM-Rec
Sports offerings at Memorial Gym and other locations on Grounds,
call 924-3791 or visit http://www.virginia.edu/ims