Bucknell Soccer Pitch Rededicated as Emmitt Field
Oct. 30, 2008
LEWISBURG, Pa. - The Bucknell men's and women's varsity soccer pitch at Holmes Stadium has been formally rededicated as Emmitt Field, University president Brian C. Mitchell announced today. The state-of-the art, natural-grass playing surface is named in honor of lead donors Richard '67 and Judy Emmitt.
A major piece of Bucknell's West Fields revitalization project, the sand-based, Kentucky bluegrass pitch opened for use in 2005 and was originally dedicated as the Bison Varsity Soccer Field on Sept. 16, 2005. The facility also includes an in-ground automatic irrigation system, an underground drainage system, in-ground soccer goals and sports lighting.
A year after the new grass field was dedicated and declared ready for play, construction was completed on the accompanying stadium facility, which was dedicated last month as Holmes Stadium. The stadium includes covered chairback seating for more than 1,000 spectators, indoor viewing suites and press box, locker rooms, and concessions and merchandise shops.
The Emmitt Field at Holmes Stadium facility now provides Bucknell's soccer student-athletes one of the premier venues in the nation to call home.
"The generous support of Bucknell friends like Dick and Judy Emmitt helps the University provide facilities for student-athletes befitting the standard for excellence they set on and off the field," President Mitchell said. "We are grateful for the continued support of the Emmitts and are proud to name this soccer field in their honor."
Richard Emmitt is a member of a three-generation Bucknell family that spans almost 80 years. Mr. Emmitt's parents, Gertrude Brooks Emmitt and William C. Emmitt, were members of the class of 1930. Mr. Emmitt's sister, Virginia Emmitt Chitwood '59, and brother, William C. Emmitt, Jr. '69, are also Bucknell graduates. Margaret S. Emmitt, the daughter of Richard and Judith, is a member of the class of 2006 and was a four-year member of the Bison women's soccer team that won the Patriot League Championship and participated in the NCAA Tournament in her senior year.
Mr. Emmitt is a General Partner with The Vertical Group, a venture capital firm based in Summit, N.J., that is focused on the fields of medical technology and biotechnology. He has almost 40 years of health care industry investment experience, including venture capital, investment research and investment banking. As an investment analyst with Cyrus J. Lawrence and F. Eberstadt, Mr. Emmitt was recognized as one of the leading experts on the health care industry by Institutional Investor Magazine. Mr. Emmitt received his B.A. in Economics from Bucknell in 1967 and an M.B.A. from the Rutgers School of Business in 1969.
In addition to their lead gift for the soccer playing field, the Emmitts also have been important contributors to academic initiatives, including the lead funding of the William C. and Getrude B. Emmitt Memorial Chair in Biomedical Engineering. The establishment of this Chair in 2002 permitted Bucknell to first offer biomedical engineering as a major in the College of Engineering.
Saturday's Bucknell-American women's soccer game will bring to a close the fourth season of play on the new field, which has drawn rave reviews from spectators, visiting teams and the Bison coaches and student-athletes. The facility has already hosted two Patriot League Tournaments on the women's side, and the Bucknell men's and women's teams have a combined 43-14-8 home record on the new surface.
"Dick and Judy Emmitt have been wonderful friends to Bucknell and Bison athletics through the years, so it is extremely appropriate that our magnificent new soccer pitch will forever bear their family name," said John Hardt, director of athletics and recreation. "Bucknell is fortunate to call as its own such a fantastic soccer facility that is the envy of our peers, and the Emmitts have played a huge role in making this concept a reality. Emmitt Field is another shining example of Bucknell's commitment to providing its student-athletes first-rate facilities with which to compete at the highest levels."
The first game on the newly named Emmitt Field will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday when the Bison women's soccer team hosts Patriot League rival American in a contest that has significant postseason implications. Bucknell can clinch a Patriot League Tournament berth with a win or a tie over the Eagles. Prior to the game, the Bison will honor tri-captains Kelly Boswell, Jennifer Dervarics and Nicole Marotta, who comprise the winningest senior class in program history.