Plans Revealed for New Football Stadium on Campus
Kickoff may be two years away, but the planning and fundraising efforts to bring football back to campus after a 44-year hiatus are already in full swing.
Most notably, a new building plan will bring Stoffer Family Stadium and the Duke Athletic Center – originally slated for construction at the 23-acre Austin Sports Complex – within a touchdown pass of the heart of campus.
The decision is estimated to save $1.3 to $1.8 million in infrastructure costs – no small figure in the current economic climate – allowing the university to use existing parking lots, roads, and water, sewer and electrical lines. The stadium will be situated on the west side of the current track facility, and the center will be built on a portion of the existing Bauman parking lot, which will be expanded to make up for lost spaces.
In addition to the cost savings, building on campus will enhance the student experience, as it puts the stadium within walking distance of dorms and the quad, and gives the university a feasible on-campus venue for events such as graduation ceremonies and large track and field meets.
The 23 acres of land that Ken and Joan Austin donated will continue to be developed, with the likely addition of track and field throwing facilities and possibly other sport fields to complement the synthetic turf soccer and lacrosse field that is already in use.
On the coaching front, the university plans to begin interviewing head football coach candidates this winter, with a decision expected in the spring. Athletic Director Craig Taylor reports the job has generated interest nationwide and from candidates ranging from high school to Division I coaches.
Finally, more than $4.6 million of the $7.2 million “Kickoff Campaign” funds necessary to construct the new facilities have been raised. Program supporters can get involved by purchasing season tickets for the inaugural 2013 campaign, buying “Legacy Lockers,” joining the Bruin Backer Club, or becoming a stadium and/or game-day sponsor.
For more details and giving opportunities, visit georgefox.edu/football.
Countdown to Kickoff
Winter/Spring 2011-12: A new head coach is hired.
Summer 2012: Construction begins on Stoffer Family Stadium and the Duke Athletic Center.
Fall 2012: The first football recruiting class enrolls at George Fox.
Spring 2013: Construction of the stadium/athletic center is completed.
Fall 2013: George Fox hosts Willamette on Oct. 5 in its conference opener.
Dukes’ Generous Gift Will Fund New Athletic Center
Marilyn and John Duke have supported George Fox for more than 25 years, but this August they announced their most generous gift yet: a $2.5-million donation that will fund the construction of a state-of-the-art athletic center.
The 15,000-square-foot facility – to be dubbed the Duke Athletic Center – will include an athletic training room, locker rooms, equipment storage rooms, a press box, offices and a weight room. It will be attached to the new Stoffer Family Stadium, future home of the George Fox football team.
“The Dukes recognize that some of life’s most meaningful and important lessons can be learned outside of the classroom,” George Fox President Robin Baker said. “Athletics is one of those arenas. It’s where many of our young people learn lessons in leadership, mentoring, teamwork and work ethic.”
The Dukes – who sent two daughters, Julie and Cindy, to George Fox in the 1980s – have also supported past campus construction projects such as Bauman Auditorium and the Murdock Learning Resource Center.
Student Spotlight: Paige Copenhaver
Why this future research professor chose George Fox over the Ivy League
Yale and Dartmouth had both offered her a full-ride scholarship, but for Paige Copenhaver the choice was clear. “I chose to come to George Fox instead of the Ivy League,” she says, “and I’m really happy with that decision.”
A biology major set to graduate this December after just two and a half years of undergraduate work, the Ridgefield, Wash., resident’s 2180 SAT score and impressive high school resumé allowed her the freedom to attend just about any college in the country. But in the end Paige chose to accept presidential merit and science scholarships from George Fox, which allowed her to learn about the world around her from a Christian perspective – a rare luxury in her field.
“I’m doing a PhD as soon as I graduate from here in the sciences,” she explains. “That’s a pretty secular world, and I wanted to have a foundation in a Christian education before I moved off into that.”
Paige’s experiences at George Fox also included participating in two May Serve trips and serving for a year as ASC experiential chaplain, which gave her the chance to plan short excursions designed for students to “experience God through his creation.”
But this aspiring research professor gained the most from one-on-one interactions with her professors, whether it was lengthy conversations about creation or working side by side with biology professor Don Powers on a recent research trip to Manitoba, Canada.
“It’s really cool to not only be able to connect with your professors as far as education or research,” she says, “but to be able to connect with them on a faith-based level as well.”