Saint Xavier dedicates, renames athletic field
Stadium will be used for football, soccer games
Chicago (Sept. 6, 2006) – Saint Xavier University officials on Saturday dedicated a $1.3 million state-of-the-art athletic field and renamed it in honor of the late Bruce R. Deaton, a big supporter of the University’s football program.
Mr. Deaton first got involved with Saint Xavier’s football program after his son, George, came to Saint Xavier and began playing on the team in spring 2000. Bruce and his wife, Margaret, helped organize a booster club to support the football program.
After Bruce Deaton’s death in 2001, Margaret began holding annual golf outings to raise money to support Saint Xavier’s football team. With the proceeds of the first golf outing, Mrs. Deaton established the Bruce Deaton Memorial Scholarship, an endowed scholarship for Saint Xavier student-athletes, in 2002.
“Bruce was instrumental in forming the booster club. His enthusiasm became infectious and he was nicknamed ‘Cougar Bruce.’ Bruce laid the foundation for what individuals could accomplish by working together. After his death I believed that building on that foundation would be the greatest tribute to him,” Mrs. Deaton said.
“The completion of the new field is the result of much hard work and the generosity of family and many wonderful friends,” Mrs. Deaton said. “It is an honor and privilege to have the field dedicated to Bruce as a lasting tribute to his dedication and love for Saint Xavier football.”
Saint Xavier head football coach Michael Feminis called the Deatons’ support and commitment to the project “extraordinary.”
“After she established the endowment, she asked me, ‘What do we do now?’ I told her of my dream for a stadium, and she said, ‘Let’s find out how to do it,’” Feminis said. “She made a huge commitment to this project, and I’ll be forever indebted to her.”
The Deaton family has provided generous funding toward the $1.3 million athletic field project, which was also funded in part by a state grant secured by State Sen. Edward Maloney (D-Chicago), and State Reps. Kevin Joyce (D-35th) and James Brosnahan (D-36th). Private donors, corporations and friends of the University also helped fund the project.
“We are very thankful to all for their continued support of Saint Xavier University’s ongoing efforts to provide our students with the most state-of-the-art opportunities,” said University President Judith A. Dwyer. “Projects such as this help position Saint Xavier as a leading comprehensive Catholic university in the greater Midwest.”
The first phase of the project includes a new artificial playing surface and drainage. Called FieldTurf, the playing surface replicates a natural grass surface but offers the durability and cost benefits of a synthetic field. The new facility will serve the needs of students and will be open to the local community for appropriate special events.
“We run a first-class athletic program at Saint Xavier and now our student-athletes are going to play at a first-class facility,” Feminis said. “FieldTurf is a state-of-the-art playing surface used in several professional and major college football stadiums.”
Construction of a 400-meter track and lighting will be part of a second phase of the stadium project. Upon completion of the second phase, the 3,000-seat stadium complex will be a multipurpose and year-round facility for football, soccer and track and field events.
“This is a wonderful day for Saint Xavier University. We are beginning to see our campus master plan unfold with the first phase of our stadium project complete. The Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field will benefit our football and soccer programs, and we look forward to sharing the field with the community as well. Thank you to everyone who made this new field possible,” said Saint Xavier athletic director Robert Hallberg.
Saint Xavier University is a private, coeducational institution serving approximately 5,800 students with high-quality academic programs. It offers 35 undergraduate majors and 40 graduate program options in five schools: School of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, Graham School of Management, School of Nursing and School of Continuing and Professional Studies. With campuses in Chicago and Orland Park, the University offers personalized education that emphasizes challenging undergraduate, graduate and professional programs of study.
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