Indiana University Dedicates New Baseball Stadium, Bart Kaufman Field
April 27, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael McRobbie presided over the dedication ceremony for the new Bart Kaufman Field on Friday afternoon. McRobbie and Kaufman spoke at the ceremony along with IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletes Fred Glass, Baseball Head Coach Tracy Smith, Architect John M. Dierdorf, and IU Trustee Phil Eskew.
“Mr. Kaufman stepped forward financially to make this a reality, said Head Coach Tracy Smith. “I think this dedication shows love. It shows commitment, beyond just words. It’s tangible.”
“What makes it so special and so unique to me as the baseball coach is that it’s not just a former student,” added Smith. “It’s not just someone that’s a friend of the University. It’s one of your very own. It’s a former baseball player. I think that is what truly makes it special.”
“To hear, ‘Bart Kaufman Field, home of your Indiana Hoosiers,’ every time we take the field, is something I will never get used to. It’s something I’ll never take for granted.”
Originally from Shelbyville, Ind., Kaufman played on IU's baseball team in 1961 and 1962, earning All Big Ten honors twice, and was the second leading hitter in the Big Ten in 1961. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in insurance from the IU Kelley School of Business in 1962 and a law degree from the IU Maurer School of Law in 1965.
Following graduation, Kaufman joined his father in wealth transfer planning. For over seven decades, Kaufman Financial Corp. has specialized in life insurance, providing advice to families and businesses throughout the United States.
Kaufman has been a loyal supporter of the IU Varsity Club for over 48 years and a 52-year season ticket holder in both football and men's basketball. Kaufman, his wife, Judy, and their four children are all IU graduates.
Mr. Kaufman recognized his friends and family in attendance as well as his former players and coach. “Many of my teammates are here tonight, some coming from as far away as Seattle and Phoenix,” said Kaufman. “And the bonds of friendship we formed 50 years ago have continued to flourish through today.”
“The future for IU Baseball is bright with the leadership of Coach Smith, his staff, and players,” added Kaufman. “For me, personally, life doesn’t get any better than this with so many friends and family here.”
“On behalf of the entire University, I want to thank to extend our deepest gratitude to Bart Kaufman for his generosity towards the development of this splendid new facility,” said President Michael McRobbie. “His generosity has already had a transformative impact on this campus and it will continue to have an impact on IU’s student-athletes for many years to come.”
“In Bart Kaufman Field, the IU Baseball program and its supporters now have a home worthy of its rich history and one that represents the promise of a bright future,” added McRobbie.
Many other donors to Bart Kaufman Field were also recognized for significant gifts made in support of the facility. Among those in attendance was Major League Baseball Player Scott Rolen, who made a gift to the stadium to honor of his parents and family (read the Rolen announcement).
Bart Kaufman Field Highlights and Features:
The IU Board of Trustees approved construction of a new softball and baseball complex, located on the north edge of the IU Bloomington athletics campus near the State Road 45/46 Bypass, in August 2011. Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects of Indianapolis designed the complex. Construction began in May 2012 by Gilbane Construction. The new $19.8 million complex was funded through private donations and athletic department funds and replaces Sembower Field and the IU Softball Field, which are located on Fee Lane adjacent to Foster Residence Center.
In February 2012, IU Athletics also announced that the new baseball stadium would be officially named Bart Kaufman Field in honor of a major gift from Kaufman, a former IU baseball student-athlete and chairman and CEO of Indianapolis-area Kaufman Financial Corp. (read the Kaufman announcement).
Major naming and gift opportunities are still available as part of the overall baseball and softball complex. To learn how you can support these facilities, please contact the IU Varsity Club at (812) 855-0866 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the IU Varsity Club
Established in 1954, the Varsity Club serves as the development arm of IU Athletics. Through its fundraising efforts, the Varsity Club enables student-athletes in 24 varsity sports to receive quality academic and athletic experiences at Indiana University.
Varsity Club donors support student-athletes through contributions for scholarships, facility projects, renovations and improvements. Annual giving donors are eligible for special benefits and priority points used for preferred seating at football and men's basketball games. To learn more about the IU Varsity Club, visit http://varsityclub.indiana.edu.
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