Centenary University in Hackettstown, N.J., is planning to build the world’s first blue artificial baseball turf field ever, celebrating the institution’s colors, so that Centenary University’s largest NCAA Division III team can have a home field on campus. In order to make this dream come true, members of the community and beyond are being asked to help with this initiative. Major challenge gifts from Centenary Trustee Steve Somers and the Reeves Foundation will cover over half the cost of the project, but those gifts and the project as a whole depend on Centenary’s ability to raise the remaining funds needed.
“This facility will function as a hub for baseball in the region, as the David and Carol Lackland Center and the Sitnik Theater have for the performing arts,” says Dr. David P. Haney, Centenary University President. “This will raise Centenary’s visibility while boosting the local economy and providing a facility that can be used by many organizations in the community. It is an exciting opportunity that will benefit our students, faculty and staff, as well as individuals, baseball teams, and businesses throughout the region.”
This facility will become a natural location to host community service functions. Especially during the summer, outside organizations will be able to utilize the facility for fundraisers and charitable events. Students will be involved in the field not only as athletes, but also through hands-on projects in sports data analytics, stadium operations and event planning. This field is slated to be completed in time for the Spring 2018 baseball season.
Centenary’s baseball team produced the Colonial States Athletic Conference Player of Year in 2013 (Joe Forcellini), 2015 (Ryan Caparoni), as well as the CSAC Rookie of the Year in 2016 (Trey Hinkle). The 2016 season marked the 6th straight year that the team improved upon its record. Since 2009, the team has qualified for the CSAC Tournament three times and the Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament three times. In the classroom, team members have earned the top GPA for a men’s team each of the last four years, placing an incredible 68 players on the CSAC All-Academic Team over that period of time.
Centenary is seeking contributions to help defray the cost of the field and meet the challenges set by our lead donors. Johnson Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram of Budd Lake has donated a 2017 Jeep Renegade Sport for Centenary to raffle off for $50 per ticket. Sponsorships and highly visible naming opportunities are available for dugouts, seating, the scoreboard, the field itself, and other parts of the baseball complex. To make a gift or for more information regarding purchasing a raffle ticket for a 2017 Jeep Renegade Sport, please contact the University Advancement Office, at (908) 852-1400, ext. 2336 or e-mail [email protected]. To discuss the project in greater detail, contact Scott Kushner, Assistant Director of Athletics and Head Baseball Coach at (908) 852-1400, ext. 2344 or e-mail [email protected].
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world.
Centenary’s campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County). The School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in the following locations: Parsippany, Edison, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.