The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

'A voice for the voiceless'
Kiley O’Brien ’25, Assistant Features Editor • July 18, 2024
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Lilli Dellheim '25 M.A., Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Student able to return to St. Joe’s

Ryan Lloyd raises over $30,000 for his senior year

Ryan Lloyd ’18, a sports marketing major, almost had his legacy as being one of the biggest fans of Saint Joseph’s University basketball cut short due to his family facing financial uncertainty.

Lloyd has been the manager for the men’s basketball team since his freshman year and has attended nearly every home game since setting foot on Hawk Hill in 2014. He is considered a “die hard St. Joe’s fan” by those who know him on campus.

Despite the financial struggle, Lloyd didn’t let hardships stand in the way of his goals. At age three, Lloyd was diagnosed with autism. His dream of attending a school in Philadelphia, where some of his family members lived, came to fruition when he was accepted into St. Joe’s.

“I wanted to be in the city of Philadelphia above anything else,” Lloyd said. “I just felt really connected to the city and when I visited St. Joe’s, I was amazed by the campus and the friendly people there.”

Lloyd came into college motivated and ready to make the most of his experience.

“I joined the Boosters Club and that’s how I became involved with the basketball team,” Lloyd said. “I’ve always been a fan of sports, especially Philadelphia teams.”

Lloyd has become more than just a sports fanatic and manager though. His presence at practices and in the stands has evolved into a meaningful relationship with the team.

“He’s told me his story and what he’s been able to overcome in order to accomplish his goals,” said Shavar Newkirk ’18, point guard on the St. Joe’s basketball team. “I look at him as an inspiration because he’s taught me there might be adversity, there might be a road block, but you have to fight through all of that and go with the punches.”

When Lloyd found himself without a way to pay for his senior year, he came up with the idea to create a GoFundMe page after creating one for a charity in a sports marketing class. Lloyd was able to use his knowledge to set-up his personal fundraiser.

In less than a month, Lloyd reached his goal of $30,000 with the support of over 500 contributors. The page was shared over 2,500 times on Facebook and became a trending campaign on GoFundMe.

Ryan Lloyd ’18 explains why he loves St. Joe’s in a picture from One Day SJU (Photo courtesy of Ryan Lloyd ’18).

“I was amazed and shocked when I saw so many people donate,” said Lloyd. “I knew how the student body viewed me and how I had impacted their lives, but I still wasn’t sure if it was going to be successful. I was leaving it
in God’s hands.”

One of Lloyd’s friends, Thomas Alessandrello ’18, spoke of Ryan’s dedication to St. Joe’s.

“[Ryan is] sincere and humble,” Alessandrello said. “You see him walk around campus and say ‘hi’ to almost every person he walks by. If he ever had any doubts about his time at SJU, I think those doubts were relieved. It goes to show that every decision and interaction he has made since coming here has been good one, and that he serves a purpose at this university.”

Along with donations from friends and family, Lloyd also received support from people he had never personally met. Notable alumni Michael Hagan ’85, after which Michael J. Hagan Arena is named, also contributed to Lloyd’s campaign, leaving the message: “Ryan – no greater SJU hoops fan than you!”

Stephanie Trice, J.D., assistant professor of sports marketing also donated saying, “Ryan, I look forward to having you as a student in my Sports Law class in the fall!”

Thanks to the contributions of the St. Joe’s community, Lloyd reached his goal and is back on campus this semester taking Sports Law, along with his other major requirements.

“I’m working as hard as I can to get caught up for graduation,” Lloyd said. “My goal after graduation is to be in the sports industry and getting a degree is really important for me because all of these jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree.”

While Lloyd is able to return for his first semester of senior year, he still has an extra intersession course he needs to take to catch up on credits.

“I am very grateful for everyone in the St. Joe’s community who donated and I am humbled by how everyone came together to send me back to college,” Lloyd said.

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