Stony Brook University Vice President for Student Affairs Peter Baigent was honored recently as one of the founding members of USA Rugby nearly 40 years ago. The ceremony took place in June at Houston’s BBVA Compass prior to the USA v. Ireland match.
A rugby enthusiast and player at Loughborough University in the U.K., Baigent co-founded the Syracuse University Team and represented the Eastern Rugby Union when, during the 1960s and 1970s, rugby saw a resurgence in the United States, and it became apparent that a more centralized structure was necessary. In 1975, the Midwest, West, Pacific Coast and Eastern regional rugby unions met in Chicagoto form the United States of America Rugby Football Union, which later became USA Rugby. There they set forward rules and regulations that would guide a board to govern the sport in the United States and built the foundation upon which the American tradition of rugby could be re-established and grow. In addition to his board duties, Baigent continued to play rugby until May 2010.
Each founding member was presented with a plaque on the pitch at BBVA Compass Stadium by the current USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Nigel Melville and International Rugby Board Executive Committee Member Bob Latham to commemorate the importance of their commitment on and off the field to rugby in the United States.