Football programs gifted a new stadium following a donation from Peter Gummeson ’80 – The Lafayette
The men’s and women’s football programs are taken to new heights with the creation of Gummeson Grounds. As announced on the GoLeopards Instagram page on March 9th, a lead gift granted by Peter Gummeson ’80 will form the basis of the construction of the stadium.
Gummeson is a men’s soccer alum.
The football teams currently play at Mike Bourger ’44 Field at Oaks Stadium, which is undergoing a remodel in the near future.
“The news of this project has caused our soccer program to be very excited,” Dennis Bohn, men’s head soccer coach, wrote in an email. “Peter’s generosity and dedication to Lafayette football is truly inspiring.”
The proposed project includes updated covered seating, English-style terraces running behind the goals and along the touchline, and an irrigation system to encourage pristine playgrounds.
“This facility demonstrates our continued commitment to our football programs and how that commitment impacts our alumni, who are such an important part of everything we are able to accomplish at Lafayette,” Athletic Director Sherryta Freeman wrote in an email.
Women’s head coach Mick Statham stressed the importance of improving the player experience.
“Whether it’s coaching, tactics, facilities, schedules, or anything else that’s part of their experience,” Statham wrote in an email. “This is a huge statement to them and future players of how important this experience is.”
This project will boost an already successful football programme. The men’s soccer team currently has the second-highest number of Patriot League championships in the conference with seven wins and has won three East Coast Conference titles.
Statham and Bohn believe the facility will have a massive overall impact on the program.
“It will provide us with a unique place to play and provide a premium environment for both male and female football players to develop and perform,” Statham wrote.
“The new renovations at our venue will make Lafayette football games a truly amazing and unique experience for all players and fans,” wrote Bohn.
Freeman believes Gummeson’s leadership gift is the “spark that will ignite Lafayette football.” She wrote that the stadium’s impact on aspects such as recruitment, student and athlete experience and the continued creation of a championship culture will be tremendous.
“Both our men’s and women’s soccer teams will benefit greatly from these improvements,” Freeman wrote. “One of the joys of college sports is being able to play in front of family, friends and fans. I think the improvements to this venue will increase interest in our football programs and hopefully result in more attendance.”
Gummeson Grounds: The home of Mike Bourger ’44 Field at Oaks Stadium is estimated at a total project cost of $3.6 million.
“Every time a project like this comes about, it is the result of hard work from many groups on campus from the college development team, alumni relations, sports administration and other key areas,” Freeman wrote. “The challenge is to balance a donor’s desires and vision with the needs of the college and our athletic program, and we are pleased to be able to do that with this project.”
According to Freeman, the project’s completion date has yet to be determined.
“I am so grateful for Peter’s generosity and his desire to improve the men’s and women’s soccer teams in Lafayette,” Freeman wrote.
“Every donation means someone cares and that always humbles me,” Statham wrote. “We’re grateful for every dollar donated, but a lead gift like Peter’s helps both programs in significant ways.”