Brad and Katharine Stoffer
A $1.2 million pledge in June boosted prospects for completion of the Austin Sports Complex, a five-field venue to be built on a 24-acre plot of land donated by Ken and Joan Austin and located a half mile north of the university’s Newberg campus (see illustration on inside front cover).
Brad and Katharine Stoffer, parents of a current student, made the pledge along with support from the Boedecker Foundation, on which Brad serves as trustee. The combined gift allows George Fox to begin the first phase of construction on the $6.5 million complex, and moves the university closer to adding NCAA Division III football and women’s lacrosse programs.
“Beyond simply adding two sports, this creates more venues for leadership training and character development,” President Robin Baker said of the project. “It also demonstrates our desire to be connected to our community and invest in the lives of student-athletes and youth in our own backyard.”
The university will share the complex with the Chehalem Park and Recreation District, Newberg High School, local club teams and the community. The Stoffer gift will fund the Stoffer Family Stadium, which includes a multi-use synthetic turf field that could be used for soccer, football and lacrosse. The first phase also includes plans for a synthetic turf soccer field and a multi-use field building.
The university will partner with the Chehalem Park and Recreation District to fund the second phase, which will include three grass fields.
The addition of football is contingent upon securing the required funding for the complex and the results of a feasibility study. The school has not fielded a football team since 1969. The earliest the sport would be added is 2012, according to President Baker.
Ultimately, the complex is the first step toward improving athletic facilities campus-wide. The university also is launching a community campaign to improve the existing baseball and softball fields, which will be expanded once the existing soccer field moves to the new complex.
New academic programs
The university has expanded its undergraduate and graduate academic offerings this fall with the addition of six undergraduate and graduate programs.
New undergraduate programs include civil engineering, journalism, a bachelor of science in elementary education in the adult degree program, and a full-time MBA. George Fox is the first West Coast institution in the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities to offer civil engineering.
Graduate students can now earn a doctor of business administration from the School of Business, and the seminary now offers a global missional leadership track in the Doctor of Ministry program.
Record number served
On Sept. 9, the university closed its doors to allow volunteers to perform practical acts of service for the annual Serve Day event. Teams of students and employees visited a ranch for orphans and widows, schools in need of maintenance work, and charities and churches. All told, groups visited a record 72 sites and 50 individual homes.
Join the Serve Day 2009 conversation
on the George Fox Facebook page: