Alumni and Friends Make Significant Gifts to On-Campus Track and Field Stadium at Baylor University
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WACO, Texas (March 7, 2014) - Baylor University today announced a variety of gifts made by alumni and friends to create the Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium, an on-campus, $18.1-million facility whose final design and construction were approved in October by Baylor’s Board of Regents.
The new facility – designed by Kansas City-based Populous, which also planned McLane Stadium – will accommodate 5,000 spectators and participants. Located adjacent to the new football stadium, the track and field facility is slated for completion in time for the 2014-15 season.
“The addition of Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium to the athletic complex now occupying both sides of the Brazos River is a key part of the physical transformation taking place across the campus of Baylor University as we pursue excellence in all areas of the University’s operations,” said Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr. “The outpouring of support for this facility by Baylor letterwinners, alumni and friends has been remarkable, and for this Baylor Nation is deeply grateful.”
In addition to a state-of-the-art track and outstanding venues for field events, Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium will offer a range of facilities and amenities including:
The 13,500-square-foot Lewis A. and Mary Woodall Training Center, featuring an indoor practice facility;
The Bob and Brenda Barkley Champions Plaza recognizing winners of Olympic and NCAA titles;
A 6,000-square-foot team facility containing the Winston Wolfe Clubhouse; and
A 10,300-square-foot team building containing hydrotherapy pools, a training room, offices and meeting rooms, and storage space.
One of the nation’s most successful and prominent programs, Baylor’s track and field teams have produced nine Olympic gold medals, 36 NCAA championships and more than 600 All-America performances. On Feb. 14, Baylor’s Board of Regents approved naming the new facility in honor of Clyde Hart, a 1956 Baylor graduate who served 42 years as Baylor’s head track and field coach before retiring in 2005 to become director of track and field.
“Baylor’s track and field program has enjoyed a national and international reputation for excellence under the guidance of Clyde Hart and Todd Harbour over the past five decades,” said Ian McCaw, director of athletics at Baylor. “From NCAA and conference titles to the gold medals won by Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner in recent Olympic Games, the achievements of Baylor track athletes have made the school’s name synonymous with success. This new, on-campus facility will be among the best in the nation and ensure that Baylor track and field’s future will be bright.”
Former track and field athletes and Baylor supporters have rallied around the program’s return to campus. During the 1920s, Baylor track and field teams competed at Carroll Field on the Baylor campus before moving off campus to Waco Stadium (later called Municipal Stadium) around 1940. In 1960, Baylor opened Baylor Track Stadium, later known as the Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex on Clay Avenue near Floyd Casey Stadium.
In April 2012, the University received a lead gift from Baylor track letterman Richard Woodall, BBA ’80, MSEco ’81, and his wife, Donna, in honor of his father and mother, Lewis and Mary Woodall. A native of Atlanta, Ga., Woodall was a student-athlete at the University of Kansas before transferring to Baylor in the fall of 1978. He ranks sixth in the 5,000 meters on Baylor's all-time performance list, with a time of 14 minutes, 15.65 seconds. Now based in California, Woodall spent his career in the oil and gas industry.
“Baylor track and field instilled discipline and a competitive spirit into my life that still exists today,” Woodall said. “I was blessed with two loving Christian parents who offered constant encouragement to excel at academics, athletics and life in general. It’s only fitting that they be honored as a testament to their love, commitment and generosity to family, friends and church.”
Following the Woodalls’ lead, others made major gifts to Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium that have enabled the realization of the facility’s fully desired scale and components. Overall, more than $8 million in private gifts have been committed to the project, led by several key members of the Baylor family. Winston E. Wolfe (Class of ’64) of Memphis, Tenn., whose philanthropy has supported the track program for decades, made a financial commitment that made possible the Winston Wolfe Clubhouse. The generosity of Bob (BBA ’79, JD ’80) and Brenda Barkley of Dallas will be recognized through the naming of the Bob and Brenda Barkley Champions Plaza. David (BBA ’85, MBA ’87) and Amy (BS ’85) Hodge of Champaign, Ill., and their company, Gill Athletics, also generously answered the call as one of the earliest donors to the new facility.
In addition, a number of former athletes, alumni and friends have joined together as financial supporters of the facility, including Jim (Class of ’84) and Julie Black; Harold (BBA ’56) and Ann Cunningham; Kevin (BBA ’81) and Jackie DeOrnellas; Kimberly Ford; Todd (BS ’81) and Cindy Harbour; Aubrey L. (MBA ’03) and Carolyn G. (MA ’75) Holt; Mike (BBA ’81) and Kyong Ae Markwardt; the Morgan family of Austin; Millard (BBA ’65, MSEco ’67) and Kerin Morris; Richard Karr; Steve (BBA ’77) and Kathy (BBA ’77, BS ’78) Myatt; Clay (BBA ’81) and Jennifer Rightmer; B. Kris (BBA ’85) and Melinda Baumann (BS ’84) Seale; Jim (BA ’59) and Carol Thigpen; and David P. (BA ’78) and Carol Willis.
“The Baylor track and field family has truly come together to make this longtime dream a reality,” said head track coach Todd Harbour. “There’s no question that Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium will be one of the country’s premiere venues for the sport, providing our student-athletes with tremendous facilities and creating a great atmosphere for spectators.”
Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium represents the final project in Baylor’s Victory with Integrity campaign, a fundraising effort that raised more than $95 million, including $62 million to support new athletic facilities.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.