Thursday, April 19, 2012

Unveiling the Joyce Family Athletic Village

Today we celebrate a special moment in the history of the university. We have the opportunity to thank some generous donors for making an investment in the lives of the university that will directly benefit our students and the athletic programs now and for many years to come.

We are unveiling the new Joyce Family Athletic Village, which includes more than $1.5 million in renovations over the past two years, including improvements to grading, irrigation and drainage for all of the athletic fields used for soccer, baseball, softball and intramurals. Improvements also included new scoreboards, new brick field backstops for baseball and softball, expanded seating for spectators, ornamental fencing and monument gates.

One of the most significant upgrades included lighting the fields which enabled LETU teams to play their first home nighttime games in the school's 65-year history. Because the lighting allows us to schedule games at night, we have been able to reduce the number of hours that student-athletes have to miss classes for games.

These new fields have already served hundreds of student-athletes, as well as more than 700 outdoor intramural participants this academic year.

We are grateful to Joe Bob Joyce and his wife, Lou Ann, and their family for their generosity in providing a significant lead gift, but also for encouraging the many others who have provided this much-needed funding for this project. Without their leadership, this project would not have been possible.

Our gratitude also extends to Eastman Chemical, after which we are naming our intramural fields as The Eastman Intramural Fields.

Others who have partnered with us significantly on this project include Joe and Paula Nowiczewski, Texas Bank and Trust, Bill Hibbs of Hibbs Hallmark Insurance, Trey Patterson of Patterson Nissan, AEP/Southwestern Electric Power, Community Bank, East Texas Mack Sales, Nancy and Al Mendez and Dean and Brenda Waskowiak of Encore Multimedia.

To all of these donors, we say thank you!