Elon Athletics announces major gift to support Latham Park renovations

The generous commitment brings fundraising for phase one of the project to more than $1.5 million as part of the Elon LEADS Campaign. The renovations will transform Elon’s baseball facility and one of the university’s most successful athletics programs.

Elon University Director of Athletics Dave Blank on Wednesday, Aug. 18, announced a lead gift to support renovations to Walter C. Latham Park, the university’s baseball facility. The anonymous leadership commitment brings fundraising for phase one of the project to more than $1.5 million and will allow construction to begin this fall while fundraising continues.

Phase one of the project features a new indoor performance facility to be constructed along the right field line at Latham Park. The facility, with four batting cages and garage bay doors, will allow student-athletes to train and practice year-round, rain or shine. When completed, the project will position Latham Park as one of the top baseball facilities in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Rendering of new indoor performance facility during phase 1.

“This generous investment represents an exciting step forward for our baseball program and will allow Elon student-athletes to continue competing at the highest level,” Blank said. “We remain committed to advancing our leadership position on and off the field in the highly competitive arena of NCAA Division I athletics, and providing outstanding facilities is a key component of that goal.”

“Elon is grateful to our donors whose generosity provides spaces for students to compete, learn and grow,” said President Connie Ledoux Book. “We are proud that developing premier academic and athletics facilities to ensure student success is one of the key objectives of the Elon LEADS Campaign and Boldly Elon, our strategic plan for 2030.”

Elon Baseball, one of the best mid-major programs in college baseball, has won 29 conference titles, made seven NCAA Tournament appearances and produced more than 70 Major League Baseball draft picks. Elon is set to host the CAA Baseball Championship in spring 2022.

“Having been part of Elon for the better part of 30-plus years, I am truly humbled by this most generous investment in our program,” said Head Baseball Coach Mike Kennedy ’91. “This is truly a game changer in the recruitment of future student- athletes, as well as player development, two staples of a successful program. The commitment and passion demonstrated through gifts like this means more than our donors and supporters will ever know.”

Fundraising for this project is ongoing and updates regarding fundraising and construction progress will be shared on elonphoenix.com. For those interested in supporting this project, the baseball program, or Elon Athletics in general, please contact Chris Hawthorne, associate athletics director for development, at 336-278-6709 or chawthorne2@elon.edu.

About the Elon LEADS Campaign

With a $250 million goal, Elon LEADS is the largest campaign in the university’s history and will support four main funding priorities: scholarships for graduates the world needs, access to engaged learning opportunities such as study abroad, research, internships and service learning, support for faculty and staff mentors who matter and developing Elon’s iconic campus. As of August 16, more than 29,000 donors had contributed $225.4 million toward the goal.

Every gift to the university—including annual, endowment, capital, estate and other planned gifts—for any designation counts as a gift to the campaign, which will support students and strengthen Elon for generations to come. Visit www.elonleads.com to learn how you can make an impact with your gift.