Northern Arizona University opened The Ridge in 1984. Due to its proximity to the Skydome, this dormitory initially housed mostly athletes and upper-classmen.
In 1998, NAU renamed the hall after Tony Gabaldon, who served four decades in public service in both education and politics. An All-State Quarterback, Gabaldon graduated from Flagstaff High School and received both his Bachelor of Arts and Masters in Education from NAU. In 1962, he became the first principal of Sechrist Elementary School in Flagstaff. In 1972, voters of District 2 (which includes Navajo and Apache counties and the city of Flagstaff) elected Gabaldon as the first Hispanic-American state senator, and he held the position for sixteen years.
Currently the eleven-story, co-ed dormitory houses 600 mostly freshmen students. The hall hosts the Freshman Connections program and supports the Gender Inclusive Housing initiative.