President Ross announces new athletics complex and $1,000,000 gift

by Elijah Morlett

Cameron University President Cindy Ross announced that the McMahon Foundation gave $1 million to Cameron Athletics, the largest donation in the department’s history and the fourth-largest gift of any kind in the school’s history.

The gift will be used to begin construction of the McMahon Field and Athletics Center, a new softball complex that includes dressing and locker rooms, a press box, a concession facility, restrooms, covered bleachers, an indoor practice facility and a new weight room for all CU athletes.

“Some students choose their university based on the athletics program,” Ross said. “We know that athletics is central to providing students the complete college experience. We know that athletics provides a university an identity, that it creates tradition and that it provides a common bond for students and also a tie between the community and the university.”

The total cost for the project is estimated at $1.84 million. It is expected to be ready for the Aggie softball team by Spring 2013.

“That team will finally be getting the facility they deserve,” Ross said.

Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Jim Jackson said that the new complex gives the team what they need to compete in the Lone Star Conference. The current field does not have restroom facilities for fans or players, a press box or dressing rooms for the teams.

“It means so much, not just to the softball and baseball teams, but to the whole Athletic Department,” Jackson said. “It’s going to instill so much pride into that program. This softball field and complex will be the absolute best in the Lone Star Conference.”

According to Jackson, the gift will give a recruiting edge to the university.

“This is going to entice them, the good softball players, to come to Cameron to get their education,” he said. “Let’s face it, we use athletics as a means to help them get their education. We want to graduate them and want them to be good students and good citizens.”

Jackson also said that the current weight room in the Aggie Gymnasium will be moved into the new complex.

The McMahon Foundation has supported the university since 1963. With this gift, the foundation’s total donations rose to just under $16 million.

“The McMahon foundation has provided a lot of money in student scholarships, in total almost 2.8 million dollars,” Ross said.

Other gifts include $4 million, the largest donation in CU’s history, for the McMahon Centennial Complex, $1.25 million for the McMahon Center at Cameron Village, and $1 million for the Academic Commons.

The McMahon Field and Athletics Center adds to the $60 million in construction that the university has had over the past nine years.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the new complex be on April 17 at 1 p.m. at the construction site, located across 38th Street from McCord Field to coincide with the last home game for the softball team.

“This is going to entice them, the good softball players, to come to Cameron to get their education,” he said. “Let’s face it, we use athletics as a means to help them get their education. We want to graduate them and want them to be good students and good citizens.”

Jackson also said that the current weight room in the Aggie Gymnasium will be moved into the new complex.

The McMahon Foundation has supported the university since 1963. With this gift, the foundation’s total donations rose to just under $16 million.

“The McMahon foundation has provided a lot of money in student scholarships, in total almost $2.8 million,” Ross said.

Other gifts include $4 million, the largest donation in CU’s history, for the McMahon Centennial Complex, $1.25 million for the McMahon Center at Cameron Village, and $1 million for the Academic Commons.

The McMahon Field and Athletics Center adds to the $60 million in construction that the university has had over the past nine years.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the new complex be at 1 p.m. on April 17 at the construction site, located across 38th Street from McCord Field to coincide with the last home game for the softball team.

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