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New field sports stadium coming to Westminster

New field sports stadium coming to Westminster

March 14th, 2018 by Jenny Gray in Local News

Westminster College staff and students arrive Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at the Historic Gymnasium on the Fulton campus to hear an announcement of a new sports facility.

Photo by Jenny Gray /News Tribune.

Long ago, Westminster alumni and now member of the board of trustees, Kent C. Mueller, told Fletcher Lamkin something important.

"I've never forgotten something Kent said," Lamkin, the college's president, said Tuesday. "There are three things important in life: Being passionate in life, having something to do and having someone to love."

Mueller said he was lucky to have found all that at Westminster. He and his wife, Judy, who met at a Westminster College concert, have donated building funds to the college in the past. Now, they are giving $3 million to create a new outdoor sports complex at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Hickman Avenue, the site of the current football field.

"Judy and I are making a $3 million gift to the college to build a new athletic stadium on Priest Field," Mueller said via Skype to students and staff gathered in the Historic Gym. "This will be the largest capital improvement project on campus in over a decade."

The stadium will be used for football, soccer, lacrosse, and baseball and softball practice when needed.

Phase one will be complete by fall, and will include artificial turf, a new scoreboard and lights. Phase two will include bleachers, a press box, concessions and restrooms. No time frame for phase two completion was given.

The Muellers live in Paradise, Arizona. They also raised and donated funds for the Mueller Leadership Hall on the north side of the campus. The Mueller Leadership Hall opened in 2007 and includes dining space, and the Mueller Student Center is also a part of this facility.

Mueller is president and CEO of Kent Mueller Ventures and founded Mastersoft, a computer software developer, in August 1986. He was named Inc. magazine's Arizona High Tech Entrepreneur of the Year in 1994.

In 2013, he was the first person to receive the Trustee Distinguished Service Award from the college's board of trustees. At that time, he was Westminster's single largest individual donor.

"Westminster gave me the knowledge, tools and drive to enthusiastically pursue everything I needed to be successful in both my personal life and in my professional life," he said.

Lamkin reminded students and staff that he's only been at Westminster as president since December — actually, his second time in that office — and there is more to come.

"You asked for it, Mr. Mueller heard you, and you got it," he said of the new sports facility. "This is just the first of a lot of good things to come."

Freshman Natalie Schulte, a soccer player from Camdenton, can't wait to dig her toes into the new field.

"I'm so excited because it will involve more than just our sport," she said of the shared-use complex. "It will attract new students."

Senior Victoria Freeman, of Hugo, Oklahoma, said she"ll be around to enjoy the new complex. After graduation, she will become the college's official cheerleading coach.

"I'm already coaching this year," she said. "I am ecstatic (about the complex). This is insane. What a wonderful contribution from the Muellers. It's good to see their wonderful spirit, and that's from a cheerleader."