University employees and family members of Mark McGill, a deceased facilities employee, spread throughout the forest surrounding the Westhampton Lake to play in the Mark McGill Disc Golf Tournament on Sunday.

Staff and students were invited to attend the tournament, which was held around 2 p.m. in commemoration of McGill, who died in April.

An hour before the tournament, a tree near the entrance of Booker Hall was dedicated to McGill. He worked at the University of Richmond for 13 years and died suddenly after a brief lung illness.

Denise Johnston, assistant to the vice president for student development, and Dianne St. John, administrative coordinator of One Card Services, said they had met McGill five years ago as members of the University Staff Advisory Council. According to its website, the council shares information, discusses issues and ideas and serves as a liaison between the staff and the administration.

"What I appreciated and loved about that committee was that we came from all different departments around campus," Johnston said. "Yet we became friends through that."

After serving their time on a subcommittee of the council, the employees continued to connect outside USAC, St. John and Johnston said. They began to celebrate birthdays, went to baseball games and concerts and did other things, they said.

"We've lost a great friend," Johnston said of McGill.

McGill's family and other university employees mostly comprised the disc golf teams. Construction partially blocked some of the holes on the disc golf course, so the teams only played holes six through 14, which are near the Westhampton Lake.

The disc golf course opened in March. It spans one half mile across campus, stretching from the Weinstein Center to the President's House. Some of the team members in the tournament said they had never played on the Richmond course before.

McGill used to play the course during his lunch break, St. John said.

"I believe one of the holes where they started on today, was where he got a hole in one," she said. "So that was the significance of having a disc golf tournament was because it's something that he really enjoyed playing."

Johnston and St. John reminised over a picture of McGill in Robins Stadium. McGill won two tickets and money to travel to Ireland in a football game halftime promotion sponsored by nTelos. He won the prize in a contest in which he threw a football 10-yards away from a target. "This is my favorite picture, I think," Johnston said.

McGill had planned to make his trip in May, but was never able to go.

Contact staff writer Keon Monroe at keon.monroe@richmond.edu

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