Ryan Refectory is the Alumni Quadrangle dining
hall at the University of Connecticut, named after J. Ray Ryan. Ryan was
known in Connecticut sports and education circles for his own athletic achievements
as well as for being the organizer and chairman of the Albie Booth Memorial
Game, a football game between the New York Giants and the New York Jets
to benefit New Haven charities. The first of these games took place in 1969
at the Yale Bowl. Until that exhibition game the two teams had never competed
against each other.
Born in Bloomfield, New Jersey, Ryan grew up in
the Newhallville section of New Haven. He attended Hillhouse High School
and then went on to Connecticut Agricultural College, where he captained the
basketball team his senior year as well as lettering in football, basketball,
and baseball; he refused an offer to play professional baseball with the Cleveland
Indians. In 1970 the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance rewarded him with
a Gold Key award.
Ryan worked as an executive at Southern New England
Telephone Company for forty years, retiring in 1970 as general manager of
support service. He also served on the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees
from 1944-1964. After living in the Connecticut towns of Simsbury, Newington
and New Haven, he retired to Delray Beach, Florida, where he resided until
his death in 1988.
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