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Anonymous Donor Commits $1 Million to Develop Athletic Fields on Campus
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Anonymous Donor Commits $1 Million to Develop Athletic Fields on Campus

Notre Dame College has announced a $1 million gift commitment to support its athletic programs, with that amount earmarked for the creation of a multipurpose, all-weather practice field. This will be one of two projects on campus involving athletic fields this summer.

The first project consists of developing an all-surface practice field on the front lawn facing College Road that will accommodate lacrosse, soccer, rugby and marching band practices. The second project, along South Green Road closer to the College entrance, has two phases: the first phase, to be constructed this summer, is the creation of a field to accommodate football, lacrosse, soccer and rugby events. The second phase, the building of a baseball diamond, is not planned for this summer. No timeline for that project has been identified.

While these projects were on the College’s athletic program wish list, it was not until a generous donor’s gift made the wish a reality.

Together, the development of the fields is part of a long-range strategy to have at least some of the College’s athletic teams’ home games─and the majority of practice sessions for the men’s and women’s field sports─played on site.

Having state-of-the-art practice fields on campus will  reduce the safety risks involved in students and coaches commuting to and from off-site locations and will eliminate travel time for student-athletes and remove a source of distraction from their day.

Faculty will benefit by a reduced need to rearrange schedules and provide makeup assignments for student-athletes caused by off-site practice sessions. Additional cost savings will result from reduced field rentals and transportation, funds that can be reinvested in other needs of the College.

In confirming the gift, the anonymous donor said, “We are tremendously impressed with the coaches, faculty, staff, administration and everyone we have encountered at Notre Dame College.  In many ways, on and off the field of play, they instill leadership qualities in the student-athletes in the most important way─by example. We are impressed with the College’s growth in both academic quality and enrollment, and we want to commend the efforts and recognize the good work that Notre Dame does for its students and the community.”

Key to the design of the new fields is their all-weather artificial surface construction, allowing for fewer cancelations due to inclement weather and reduced costs associated with natural turf maintenance.

“Notre Dame College continues its 90-year commitment to academic excellence and personal attention to all students in a caring nurturing environment. We are grateful that our passion for quality higher education, balanced with extracurricular ‘life outside the classroom,’ is being recognized by generous people who, like us, know the importance of values-based, smaller, private schools such as ours,” said Notre Dame President Andrew P. Roth, Ph.D.

“For this donor to make this transformative gift reinforces our belief that we are doing the right things in support of the students and families we serve. We sincerely thank them for their generosity and their confidence in our College,” Roth added.

“Big changes are happening on the lawn of Notre Dame College, one of the nation’s fastest growing over the past decade,” began an April 25 story in the Sun Messenger, an appropriate introduction to this latest gift that brings to $4 million the total committed to the College in the last year.