George Fox raises nearly $2.1 million toward new sports complex

University meets $250,000 matching grant total as construction continues on Austin Sports Complex

 Workers lay down turf for the soccer field at Austin Sports Complex

Workers lay down turf for the soccer field at the Austin Sports Complex.

Donors Deliver: Grant Matched

George Fox University has moved a step closer toward meeting its fundraising goal for a new athletic complex currently under construction a half mile north of the school’s Newberg, Ore., campus.

On June 17, the university announced it had successfully raised the $250,000 needed for a matching grant donated by an anonymous Newberg family in October of 2009. As designated by the donor, the grant will match dollar for dollar – up to $250,000 – raised for the Austin Sports Complex, a multi-use sports facility that will be used by the university, Newberg High School, local club teams and the community. The university had until June 30 to meet the match.

With the match, the university has raised nearly $2.1 million toward the $6.5 million fundraising goal. “This is a three-year effort, and we hope to raise another third, approximately $2.5 million, in 2010-11,” said Shari Scales, vice president of advancement at George Fox.

Scales said 131 donors gave gifts ranging from $5 to $25,000 toward the matching grant between October and June. Donors included graduating seniors, George Fox employees, alumni and board members.

“This is an exciting time for George Fox University and for the donors who gave this significant match,” Scales said. “We are grateful to everyone who helped, and they, in turn, are grateful that the gifts they gave during this period were doubled.”

Construction Continues

The university hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the complex in April, and construction has been ongoing since. It was also in April that the university received a $300,000 donation from Pacific Fibre Products of Longview, Wash., for the project.

In June, general contractor The Saunders Company began overseeing installation of the synthetic Astro Turf GameDay Grass MT45 field, so the first soccer field will be ready for play this fall, according to Mike Goins, vice president for financial affairs and the project’s manager.

Brad and Katharine Stoffer

Brad and Katharine Stoffer announce their donation at a fundraising event July 9.

Stoffer Donation

A combined $1.2 million lead gift from Brad and Katharine Stoffer and their Boedecker Foundation in July 2009 allowed the university to begin the first phase of construction on the complex. The gift was the project’s second major donation, after the 23 acres of land pledged to the university by Newberg philanthopists Ken and Joan Austin in 2002.

Austin Sports Complex

The multi-use sports complex is located at the corner of North Villa Road and East Crestview Drive. Visit the university’s development page for an illustration of the five-field complex and specifics on the project, the rationale behind it, and how to donate to the cause.

Dundee, Ore.,-based The Saunders Company is serving as general contractor. Design work is being completed by W&H Pacific, a Northwest engineering consulting firm. Previous W&H Pacific projects include the Nike World Campus expansion and athletics fields at the University of Portland and University of Washington.

Preparation for the complex began in the summer of 2007, when the university spent $1.5 million on street and site improvements.

Football Approved

The George Fox Board of Trustees approved in April the return of football to the school. Kickoff is scheduled for the fall of 2014. The university fielded a football team from 1894 to 1968, but dropped it primarily for financial reasons. Read more about the addition of football here.

Expansion of Baseball and Softball Facilities

In addition to constructing the Austin Sports Complex, the university 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.

NCAA Athletics at George Fox

George Fox offers 15 intercollegiate sports – eight for women, seven for men. In addition to football, the university is considering adding swimming and women’s lacrosse. The university is one of only two schools in the Northwest Conference to win multiple national NCAA team championships, claiming a women’s basketball title in 2009 and a baseball title in 2004.