Written by Devon Platana
While John Ruddy is known for many things, from starting the Trinity Development Group to his involvement with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), and his generous philanthropy in the Ottawa community, he is praised in the Carleton community for helping bring back the football team in 2013.
Due to this significant contribution and John’s involvement in the Carleton community, including creating bursaries and scholarships for students, John Ruddy is now a part of the 2020 Ravens Hall of Fame class.
“I was surprised because I didn’t even know I was nominated for the Hall of Fame,” says Ruddy with a laugh. “It’s nice to know that my contributions at Carleton are being recognized.”
It may not be surprising to see Ruddy honoured in this way because of his contributions as a builder, he says that it wasn’t something that crossed his mind, which makes it even better. Before bringing back the football team, Ruddy played cornerback for the Ravens from 1970 to 1975.
While that may seem like a long time ago before he became known for his real estate career, Ruddy says that he hasn’t forgotten about his time as a student-athlete at all.
“I remember a lot of things fondly,” says Ruddy. “I remember some of the specific games and outcomes, as well as the friends I developed, some of whom I’m still in touch with today and some of whom we still do business together today.”
“That in itself is a very satisfying aspect of having been playing at Carleton so many years ago.”
It was because of these memories that Ruddy continues to give back to the Carleton community to this day.
John’s philanthropic support towards Carleton extends beyond the football program, as he also established the John E. Ruddy Architecture Scholarship for students entering the Master of Architecture program and the John E. Ruddy Bursary to support undergraduate students enrolled in the Bachelor of Architecture program. Ruddy’s inherent passions for giving back as a philanthropist and community leader were recognized in 2011, as he was the recipient of the Leadership in Philanthropy Award.
“It’s important for me to give back because I’m grateful for my time as a Raven,” says Ruddy, whose continued generosity led to the revival of Carleton’s football program after a 15 year hiatus “It was important to bring back the football team because it was important to me when I was a student.”
“Plus, there’s nothing louder in Canadian university sports than the crowds at the Panda Game.”
Ryan Kublek, a recent alumni with the Ravens football team, heard John Ruddy’s name a lot without having actually met him.
“Mr. Ruddy was a figure to us, explained by our coaching staff, from the start of our program because of the amazing job and contributions he put forward in our Ottawa community,” says Kublek. “For some of the first-class players that came in the 2013 Ravens rebirth, I think the athletic department did a really good job showcasing how important he is to the program.”
Kublek says he and a group of players decided to nominate Ruddy for the Ravens Hall of Fame because he gave them an opportunity to wear the Ravens colours.
However, while Ruddy’s football-related involvement can’t be ignored, Kublek adds that it was his generosity to the Ottawa community that is also important to today’s Ravens.
“I think, as a whole, that’s motivated a lot of current players now to give back more to the community and have someone to look up to who went on from playing Ravens football to do great things for the city of Ottawa,” says Kublek.