The Pioneer Press reported Wednesday morning that major Gopher Women’s athletics benefactor Kathleen Ridder died Monday at the age of 94. Ridder was a major sponsor of Gopher Women’s athletics. Her and her husband donated millions of dollars over thirty years. The name will be familiar to most Gopher fans as Ridder Arena, home of the Gopher Women’s Hockey Team was named after her and her husband when it was constructed in 2002. The couple donated $500,000 to the constrction of the then only women’s hockey only facility in the country. Ridder also established the Kathleen C. Ridder Scholarship which is awarded annually to a student-athlete pursuing a degree in medicine, science or math beginning in 1983, and has been awarded to such Gopher greats as Nadine Muzerall, Rhonda Curtin, and Lee Stecklein.
Ridder also gave lots of her time to the University. Ridder chaired several women's athletic department committees, including the women's athletic scholarship endowment of the Minnesota Campaign. She served on several University boards and has had numerous other non-profit affiliations as an active volunteer in the community. Shew as inducted to the Minnesota M-Club Hall of Fame in 1990. She has received several other awards from the philanthropic and sporting community as well. She was given the Lynx Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota Lynx in 2008. In 2009 she and her late husband were awarded the Joe Burke Award from the American Hockey Coaches’ Association The award is given annually to the person or persons who have given outstanding contribution, support and dedication to women’s ice hockey.
The Daily Gopher sends our thoughts to the Ridder Family and the Gopher Athletics Department