By Larry Kidder | Above, construction on the Drayson Center site in the early 1990s is well underway. The facility, named for Ronald and Grace Drayson, officially opened its doors on Wednesday, January 11, 1995. Scroll down for more photos. For a special commemorative presentation, visit Construction Slide Show.
With approximately 480,000 people visiting Drayson Center each year for fitness, sports, recreation, health education, conference facilities, and events, it is worthwhile to look back at how the facility has grown over the past 25 years.
Members and visitors alike have commented that the facility looks relatively new—certainly not 25 years old! In that time, Drayson Center has remained relatively unchanged in its physical footprint. However, the facility has been well-maintained and renovated as needed to keep it current and relevant.
When the facility first opened, it was reserved exclusively for students. Today, in addition to students and their spouses, all full-time Loma Linda University Health employees and spouses receive memberships as part of their benefits, and part-time employees may join for a reduced cost. A significant number of community members also enjoy the facility, including close to 1,400 area seniors.
As we celebrate 25 years, we take time to look back and remember the people and events that made Drayson Center a reality.
Watch for announcements of upcoming celebratory events and activities, via our electronic screens, website, and social media.
Grace and Ronald Drayson sold their mobile home park on Redlands Boulevard in Loma Linda, giving $8 million to Loma Linda University and providing the signature gift toward funding the construction of LLU Drayson Center.
Beginning second from left, Ronald and Grace Drayson and their daughter Darlene Drayson-Nemer are flanked by B. Lyn Behrens (left), president of Loma Linda University at the time, and Calvin Rock (right), chair of the LLU Board of Trustees.
Ronald Drayson (seated, right), signs documents making official the gift of the Alto Camino mobile home park, worth $8 million, to help Loma Linda University build its new recreation and wellness center. With him are Grace Drayson (seated, left), B. Lyn Behrens (standing, right), Darlene Drayson-Nemer (standing, center), and Don Prior (standing, left), LLU vice president for advancement.
The Drayson's are joined by various LLU administrators, past LLU presidents, and even the mayor of Loma Linda as they ceremonially break ground for the new Drayson Center.
The ribbon is cut by Grace Drayson in Opsahl Gymnasium, officially opening Loma Linda University Drayson Center.