Gregg Lord ’85 fondly recalls introducing his son, Griffin ’15, to his future college football coach. “He was only five, and Mike Maynard shook his little hand on the field.” From that point on, the University of Redlands, where Gregg had also competed on the football team, played an oversized role in the Lord family story.
Growing up, Griffin recalls that the coaches would let him stand on the sidelines during games. “For a little kid, that was an absolute thrill,” he says. When Griffin arrived at Redlands as a student himself, he deeply appreciated the Redlands student-athlete experience: “Football means a lot more when you are playing for something bigger like our brotherhood, and on the same team my dad played for.”
Seeing their son in maroon and grey was a powerful experience for Gregg and his wife, Debbie, too. “It gave us goosebumps,” says Gregg.
While Debbie did not attend the University, she nevertheless feels very connected to it as she grew up in the area and came to the campus both as a junior high cheerleader and for high school homecomings. More importantly, she met Gregg in U of R’s North Hall while visiting her cousin. “This place has been a huge part of our lives,” she says.
Years later, Gregg and Debbie’s youngest daughter, Mattie ’17—who is named after Mattison Boyd Jones, who chaired the U of R Board from 1907 to 1942—moved into the very same residence hall in which her parents met. Initially Mattie did not include U of R among the colleges she was considering, but she found she “was always comparing other schools to Redlands.” While a student, Mattie was a member of U of R’s Alpha Theta Phi sorority, joining a family legacy dating back to 1933.
Mattie’s older sister, Katie, also recalls attending Bulldog football games as a child, when “it was fun coming to tailgates and seeing everyone in maroon.” Later, while watching Griffin’s game one night, Katie took special note of No. 22. That evening, she met her brother’s teammate, Stephen “Sweets” Reyes ’15—to whom she is now engaged.
“The first day of practice, Maynard told us to look around, and the men standing next to us would be our friends for life,” Stephen says. “He was telling the truth. I met my best friends and my future wife here.”
Beyond playing on the Ted Runner Stadium field and cheering from the stands, the Lords have demonstrated their support of Bulldog football through annual President’s Circle gifts to the program.
“There’s nothing like playing in the ‘Runner,’” says Gregg, who serves on the Athletics Campaign Committee. “This experience had everything to do with who I am today, and that’s true of my entire family. You don’t get that just anywhere.”
For information on how you can support Bulldog athletics like the Lord family has, please contact Brandon Mulder, philanthropic advisor, at 909-748-8350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.