Lynn Holaday passed away this morning after an 18-month bout with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, hours before groundbreaking for an indoor practice facility at Air Force that bears her name.
Holaday and her husband Bart gave $5 million to the construction of the $16 million Holaday Athletic Center, which will be located to the north of the Cadet Field House. Air Force superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould said Bart Holaday insisted the groundbreaking go on despite his wife's passing. Gould choked up when he addressed Lynn Holaday to the crowd.
"Lynn's got a bird's-eye view for what we're doing today," said Gould, who added later it was a bittersweet day.
Bart Holaday did not attend, but his prepared remarks were read by Dr. Erv Rokke, the president of the AFA Endowment.
"She did not simply visit this world, she made a difference," Rokke said, reading Bart Holaday's speech.
Lynn Holaday was remembered at the ceremony for her generosity and spirit.
"It allowed us to focus on the true sacrifice and true gift she gave," Air Force athletic director Dr. Hans Mueh said. "She was much more the driver in this than he was."
"Nothing short of remarkable," Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said. "The heart and the generosity, and probably breaking a significant barrier where it is OK to give back to the academy."