In fall 2003, the Siegfried Hall Ramblers made it to the interhall football championship game, played in Notre Dame stadium, for the third consecutive season. Quite an accomplishment. But the achievement also held special poignance.
As junior Matt Mooney, The Observer’s sports wire editor and a Siegfried resident, explained in the student newspaper, all season long the Ramblers wore the initials RHS on the sleeves of their jerseys, and they made it their season’s goal to “repeat for Ray.”
The Ray and RHS in question was Trustee Raymond H. Siegfried, a 1965 ND graduate, with whom Siegfried residents have enjoyed a special relationship. The benefactor who underwrote the 1988 construction of that hall that bears his name was a fixture on the sidelines at Ramblers games the two seasons prior to last year. He took the entire team out to dinner after they clinched berths in the 2001 and 2002 title games. Players started playfully referring to him as “The Owner.”
But Siegfried, 61, wasn’t able to attend many of the Rambler’s games last season. He is suffering advancing debilitation from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the fatal illness better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He last visited campus in October.
“There was no dinner trip this year,” Mooney wrote in The Observer in December 2003, “but Ray’s inspiring email to the team (before the championship game) was just as motivational.”
The Ramblers appropriately went out and won one for The Owner.