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Jan. 22, 2010
Courtesy of Penn Live
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State's Board of Trustees today (Jan. 22) named the playing surface of the University's new softball stadium Beard Field in recognition of the generosity of donors E. Lee and William Beard.
In October 2009 the Beards committed $500,000 toward a new softball facility to be built on the University Park campus. Construction is expected to begin in the spring and be completed by the start of the 2011 season.
Beard Field will be located along Park Avenue, near Beaver Stadium, on the current site of Nittany Lion Field. The new facility also will include more than 1,000 permanent seats, as well as clubhouses, coaches' offices, locker rooms, a training room, media center, and outdoor and indoor training areas.
The facility also will provide opportunities for Penn State to host high school and collegiate tournament competition.
E. Lee Beard is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, an honorary Penn State alumna and vice chair of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, the University's comprehensive fundraising campaign. Over the last decade she has helped to lead fundraising initiatives at Penn State Hazleton and throughout the University, while heading her own consulting company, The Henlee Group, and serving as a volunteer leader for organizations such as Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. In 2009 Penn State named her Fundraising Volunteer of the Year, honoring her leadership in securing philanthropic support for the University.
Bill Beard is a graduate of the University of Maryland, and served as head coach of the Penn State Hazleton softball team from 1996 to 2002, leading the program to five consecutive championships. Upon retirement he and other coaching volunteers worked with northeast Pennsylvania high school girls to improve their softball skills at an indoor facility he created.
In addition to their support for the softball facility, the Beards have endowed scholarships for students with financial need, a fund for the Hazleton campus women's softball team, and a symposium at the campus on contemporary women's issues.
The Nittany Lion softball team officially begins practice on Monday for the 2010 season. The travels to the Hotel Encanto Invitational, a five-game tournament, hosted by New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M. on Feb. 12-14.