Elon breaks ground on Alumni Field House
Calling it a “symbol of an athletics program aspiring to do great things,” Elon University leaders broke ground Saturday morning on Alumni Field House, a state-of-the-art 30,000-square-foot facility to be built adjoining the north end zone of Rhodes Stadium and named by the board of trustees to honor all Elon alumni.
More than 100 people gathered for the Nov. 14 ceremony, which featured remarks by university leaders, coaches and a student-athlete. The field house is scheduled for completion by December 2010.
"The Alumni Field House and the Hendrickson Football Center will have a tremendous impact on our ability to attract top-notch student-athletes to Elon," said Pete Lembo, Elon's head football coach. "It will also greatly impact the day-to-day operations for our players, our coaches and our support staff. It will undoubtedly be a cornerstone of a football program that is already blessed with a beautiful stadium complex behind us.
"To me this field house is not about bricks, steel, lockers or weight equipment, it's about relationships."
The facility will include a large team meeting room and locker room for football; a conference room; an advanced athletic training room, including a hydrotherapy area; a large strength and conditioning room; and space for student athletes to study. It will also provide offices for the athletics director and coaches in the football, baseball, soccer, cross country, and track and field programs, as well as other athletics staff.
Elon President Leo M. Lambert spoke of the leadership demonstrated by members of the board of trustees as the university continues its Ever Elon fundraising campaign.
"This board recognizes that it needs to set the example for the entire campus in terms of having tremendously high aspirations and expectations for this university, " Lambert said. "That leadership has shown itself so many times as we have worked in a very difficult economic time to raise funds for this building."
Athletics Director Dave Blank and Chris Neal, Elon's women's soccer coach, also praised the new building in their remarks.
The new field house will include the Hendrickson Football Center in recognition of a gift from alumni Jay '71 and Amy '69 Hendrickson of Raleigh, N.C., who made a $1 million gift in honor of Jay's father, Horace J. Hendrickson, one of Elon's all-time great coaches.
It will also contain the Walker Room and Terrace, as well as the Zac Walker Place entrance road, in recognition of a gift from alumnus and trustee Zac Walker '60 and his wife, Dot, of Raleigh, N.C. They made a $500,000 gift in honor of Zac’s father, Zachary T. Walker Jr., a member of Elon’s Sports Hall of Fame, and Zac’s uncle, D.C. “Peahead” Walker, another of Elon’s all-time great coaches.
A $250,000 gift from trustee emeritus W. E. “Dub” Love, Jr. ’48 and his wife, Ann, will name the football locker room. Elon trustee Wes Elingburg and his wife, Cathy, longtime supporters of the university and parents of an Elon student, also made a generous gift in support of the project.
The Ward family – mother Cynthia, son Hunt ‘82 and his wife Julia – gave $100,000 in memory of C. Max Ward ’49. Rear Admiral Edward “Ted” Walker, a member of the Board of Visitors, contributed $100,000. There were many other contributions to the project, including gifts by several former football players in honor of their coaches.
Molly Calpin, an Elon senior and member of the women's soccer team, offered remarks on behalf of all student-athletes, thanking all those who gave gifts in support of the field house.
"I truly am amazed and inspired by the generosity of Elon's benefactors and I trust that my fellow student-athletes are as inspired as I have been," she said. "I hope that we too will be able to contribute as you have to help future generations of student-athletes."