Paul Sunderland Recreation Field dedication to be held Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 17, 2015 — A dedication ceremony for the newly renamed and upgraded Paul Sunderland Recreation Field will take place at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 19. The field is located on Benton Avenue between Clara Thompson Hall and Sunderland Hall. A reception will be held afterward in the Martin Alumni Center across Benton Avenue. The ceremony will be held at the Alumni Center in case of inclement weather.

Drury students have used this recreational field for decades for intramural sports, campus events or simply as a place to relax or play Frisbee. Its importance to student life took on added significance after the O’Reilly Family Event Center was built on the site of Drury’s official intramural field in 2010. Following about $140,000 in improvements during the last two months, Sunderland Field now boasts LED lighting for nighttime use, bleacher seating, a scoreboard, signage, soccer goals and other new amenities. The field is among the first in the region to be fully lit with LED lights.

Paul Sunderland Recreation Field under newly installed LED lights.

Sunderland Field under newly installed LED lights.

Sunderland Field was nicknamed for adjacent Sunderland Hall, itself named for Drury Trustee Paul Sunderland, who served on the Board from 1952 to 1983. Now the space will receive an official designation as Paul Sunderland Recreation Field following a $65,000 grant from the Sunderland Foundation to help pay for the improvements. Drury’s Student Government Association voted to allocate an additional $50,000 to the project.

“The Sunderland Foundation is proud to assist in the completion of Paul Sunderland Recreation Field,” said Kent Sunderland, president of the Sunderland Foundation and Paul Sunderland’s grandson. “My grandfather was a longtime Trustee of Drury University and a civic leader for many years in the Springfield area. The Sunderland Foundation looks forward to seeing many Drury students enjoying their time on this field and adding to their overall educational experience at this fine university.”

Drury's Ultimate Frisbee team on Sunderland Field.

Drury’s Ultimate Frisbee team on Sunderland Field.