Whittier College News Release


For Immediate Release - February, 1998

Media Contact

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Groundbreaking held for improvements to Whittier College football field and track


With drawings from the renowned architectural firm of Ellerbe Becket of Minneapolis, Minn., Whittier College undertakes a $1.5 million renovation of its athletic track and football field. More than 150 alumni and friends will be on hand to kick off the groundbreaking ceremonies, beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26.

Among many world-wide projects, Ellerbe Becket designed the football stadium renovation at the University of Notre Dame, the track and football field at Claremont McKenna College and the track used in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The college has also received consulting input on the design from Tom Tellez, a 1955 graduate of Whittier and retired University of Houston track coach, who coached Carl Lewis to a lifetime total of nine Olympic gold medals. The renovations will give Whittier "a wider and faster track that will have the flexibility to host large-scale invitational meets, attracting a high caliber of competitor," according to Director of Athletics Dave Jacobs, who adds that the new all-weather track will "be the best one in our conference."

The groundbreaking is being held in conjunction with a meeting of the Whittier Board of Trustees. Actual construction will begin in April, with the improvements to the Chief Newman Football Field to be completed by mid-September. It is expected the track will be available for full use in time for the January 2000 track and field season. The improvements will give the college a first-class competitive facility for the football and track and field teams, and be a showcase for attracting quality student-athletes, Jacobs said.

Funds for the improvements are being raised as part of Whittier's capital campaign, Endowing the Tradition. To date, more than $1.1 million has been raised for the renovation, including a bequest of $900,000 from the estate of Marvin Galbraith, a longtime friend of the college.

Brothers and former Whittier College athletes, Lee '40 and Tom Woodward '42, will be guest speakers at the event.

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts. Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus.

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