Lynn University breaks ground on the Bobby Campbell Stadium
Published Feb. 13, 2013
Lynn University officially broke ground on the Bobby Campbell Stadium today (Feb. 13) on the site of the future structure adjacent to the existing intramural field on campus.
“This incredible facility is a welcome addition to our stellar athletics program, and it will also allow Lynn to introduce men’s lacrosse to our roster of sports,” Lynn President Kevin M. Ross said. “It will also be the new home of Lynn’s eight-time national championship soccer teams, our most recent national championship title won by our men’s soccer team this past season.”
Donors and Fundraising
Many of the donors who made this project a reality were on hand to participate in the traditional golden shovel ceremony including Robert (“Bobby”) Campbell, the lead donor, who provided $1.2 million and long time and generous donors Mary and Harold Perper (who also named the Perper Plaza, Perper Mailroom and Perper Tennis Complex) who contributed $750,000 to name the stadium’s grandstand.
An anonymous donor gave $1 million toward the naming of Malfitano Field in honor of Senior Vice President Gregory Malfitano; a special gift was made up of contributions in memory of Kyle Conrad, the star soccer player who died in 2010; and the other donors who contributed are Chris Dillon, David and Barbara Gerrits, Larry and Elaine Smith, Jack and Noreen Gaston, George and Keri Kolettis and Ashlie Thomas.
“We set a goal of raising $3.5 million toward the construction of the stadium, and I am thrilled to announce that to date, we have $3,157,000 paid and pledged,” said Ross. “Thank you so much to all of our donors. This stadium would not be possible without your support.”
The ceremony also included remarks by lead donor Bobby Campbell and Matt DiCerbo, captain and goalkeeper of the men’s soccer team.
Though Campbell says he has played a lot of sports in his life, he never played soccer and though he didn’t go to college, he dubbed Lynn his “alma mater” and “is so honored to give this gift to help build this stadium.”
Having received his undergraduate degree from Lynn and about to finish up his master’s, Matt DiCerbo, goalkeeper and captain of the national championship team, said “these have been the best years of my life and for student-athletes this is a dream come true.” He did admit he’s a bit jealous of the future players who will be playing in the new stadium. “As a matter of fact,” he joked, “I’m looking for some loopholes to secure my eligibility.” He also thanked his mom, Diane DiCerbo, math professor and director of academic advising at Lynn, who helped spearhead raising the money for the Kyle Conrad locker room.
After the traditional groundbreaking shovel ceremony, guests were treated to a unique exhibition of defensive prowess by the two guest goalkeepers: President Ross and Senior Vice President for Administration Malfitano, who donned soccer jerseys and gloves and fielded balls from members of each of the men’s and women’s soccer teams. Malfitano is no stranger to Lynn’s soccer turf as he was a member of Lynn’s soccer team from 1971 – 1973.
Construction of the stadium, a lighted facility to include covered stands with a plaza area and seating for 500 spectators designed by the Gensler architectural firm, will begin in April 2013 and is scheduled to be completed by January 2014, in time for Lynn’s inaugural lacrosse season.
“The design aims to create a refreshing alternative to the typical collegiate stadium,” said Cliff Bollmann, a senior associate with Gensler. “We want to create a variety of different places for people to enjoy their time at the field.”
While concluding his remarks, Ross pointed out that last year the men’s soccer team soccer lost the national championship in a heartbreaking double overtime. “Their win this year is a storybook ending,” he said. “And what better way to celebrate our university’s 50th anniversary than with such a milestone championship title.” And he said they will just have to “do it again” once the Bobby Campbell Stadium becomes their new home.