Arcadia University’s Board of Trustees voted today (Oct. 21) to approve turf and lights for the University’s newest athletics field on Easton Road. The vote was enthusiastic and unanimous. The work will commence in the spring so that the field is ready for play by August and the fall sports season.
This decision comes a week after Arcadia’s new full-time strength and conditioning coach, Todd Barnes, joined the Arcadia staff (see story), and six weeks after the opening of the University’s new state-of-the-art fitness center (see story).
“We are intent on having championship teams in the Middle Atlantic Division of our Division III Conference,” said Arcadia President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III. “Our student-athletes receive an excellent education from their professors in the classroom. We are committed to doing our best to help them reach their potential in the field and on the courts. Our University has a tradition of excellence in sports: Beaver College was nationally top ranked in many sports—from field hockey to basketball to riflery. Today, our women’s soccer team is ranked 24th in the country. We intend for our other intercollegiate teams to achieve similar stature.”
President Oxholm met with the Athletics and Recreation Department coaches and staff soon after his arrival to campus, and turfing the field was one of the coaches’ top priorities. With Men's Lacrosse becoming Arcadia's newest official Division III sport next year, the new field—along with the Dome and its indoor surface—will provide year-round facilities for athletics as well as for student intramurals and recreation.
"I am very excited about the new turf field, and I know my entire team is as well," says David Jacobs ’14, a sophomore on the men's soccer team. "I am confident that the new field will not only improve our current team, but will also serve as a valuable tool in recruiting to continue improving our team in the coming years.”
"I think getting turf is not only a stepping stone for our athletic teams, but for our school as well,” adds Zach Todd ’13, a junior midfielder. "With the renovation to Kuch Center and now the addition of turf, it will not only help our teams reach the next level, but also our school to be one of the best universities in the conference."
"It is great to have the support of the President," says Erin Livingston, Head Women's Lacrosse and Field Hockey Coach. “He not only comes to our games, but is among our loudest supporters on the sidelines. All the players know he supports us 100 percent. It’s great that the Trustees are adding their voices, and giving us this new field.”
President Oxholm has made clear his support for AU athletics in other ways. The University’s Athletic Director, Shirley Liddle, reports to him, and he has doubled the budget for recreational and intramural sports.
“Sports are very important to the college experience,” says the President. “A sound mind in a sound body is our goal – producing graduates who know how to work hard, play hard, and realize the importance of teamwork, leadership and commitment. Those are life lessons of the very best kind.”