Baylor Dedicates Getterman StadiumFeb. 19, 2000
On a Saturday perfect for a game of softball, Baylor University officially dedicated its new state-of-the-art softball park during a ceremony held in an appropriate setting - right on the diamond.
The ballpark, now known as Getterman Stadium, was named in honor of Baylor graduates and longtime supporters Ted and Sue Getterman of Waco. The Getterman family provided the lead gift for the facility that represents the largest single gift ever to Baylor women's athletics.
The Gettermans, attending with their sons T. and Holt, and his wife, Debbie, thanked the hundreds of Baylor supporters who enthusiastically filled the stadium seats for the ceremony.
"When Ted and I heard of the financial need for this facility, we never thought it would culminate in a day like today," said Sue Getterman, who spoke on behalf of her husband and family. "By financially supporting a Christian university like Baylor, we are perpetuating the best of living and learning. We have such a feeling of joy and our lives are more complete by helping students."
The Gettermans have faithfully demonstrated their support for the university and its students through endowed scholarships, the Presidents Club and the Athletic Directors Club, and by providing resources for such facilities as Floyd Casey Stadium, the McLane Student Life Center and Ferrell Field. Longtime residents of Waco and members of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church, the Gettermans met at Baylor, where Sue earned a bachelor of arts degree and Ted received both his B.B.A. and law degrees. Mr. Getterman is a former mayor of Waco and also served for a number of years as the president of the Texas State Bottlers Association. Mrs. Getterman is a former president of the Junior League of Waco.
While honoring the Gettermans for their gift to women's athletics, Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. remarked that a balanced education is fostered not only by its academic component, but by athletics as well.
"Those of us who've gathered today share the belief that playing fields can become schools for accomplishment and character, where individuals learn to compete with pride and honor, develop a sense of obligation and responsibility for others, persevere against all odds and strive to win," Sloan said. "These lessons, as pertinent as those taught in any classroom, are enduring attributes - really, lifelong skills - that college athletes will carry with them as they move from intercollegiate competition to the larger playing field of life."
Sloan also talked about the advancement of women's athletics at Baylor, a shared vision of those at Getterman Stadium.
"We share a desire to increase public awareness of women's intercollegiate athletics at Baylor University, a desire to advance the purposes of those programs as we advance the mission of the university, a sense of commitment to provide educational opportunities for academically and athletically talented young women, and a commitment to provide exceptional facilities to undergird the efforts of our women athletes," the president said.
Sloan ended his remarks by thanking the Gettermans for their passion for excellence as demonstrated through "your Christ-like way of living and in the way that you are so generous in responding to the needs of others.
"So at this time, it gives me great pleasure to announce that from this day forth, and with heartfelt gratitude, we will refer to this facility as 'Getterman Stadium, home of Baylor softball,'" he said.
At that moment, members of Baylor's Student Foundation unveiled a "Getterman Stadium" banner on the centerfield fence, as hundreds of green and gold balloons lifted high into the clear blue skies.
Baylor head softball coach Paula Young, flanked by her players and assistant coaches on the infield, said that all ballplayers dream of playing in a facility as outstanding as Getterman Stadium.
"Because of what you [the Gettermans] have shared with us, you have made a dream come true for the young ladies behind us today and for future generations of Baylor softball players," said Young, who then called on seniors Carrie Arn and Heather Williams to present the Gettermans with softball practice T-shirts and jackets commemorating a lifetime membership in the Diamond Club, softball's support organization.
"We will consider it a privilege and an honor to practice and to play in this magnificent ballpark, and we couldn't be more proud to call 'Getterman Stadium, home of Baylor softball.' Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Getterman," she said.
Baylor athletic director Tom Stanton presided over the ceremony. Other administrators and special guests in attendance were Sue Sloan, first lady of Baylor; Chancellor and Mrs. Herbert H. Reynolds; general counsel Noley Bice and his wife, Carol; provost and vice president for academic affairs Donald D. Schmeltekopf and his wife, Judy; vice president for student life Steve Moore; vice president for human resources Marilyn Crone; vice president for university development Richard Scott; members of the Baylor Women's Athletic Cabinet; Bear Foundation fund drive volunteers; Baylor basketball pep band, the Courtside Players; yell leaders and song leaders; students; several members of Baylor's faculty and staff; and Baylor bear mascot, Chance.