The College recently held a special ceremony to officially dedicate the fields and honor those who brought them from “vision to reality,” as President Steve Timmermans, Ph.D., said in his introduction.
Honoree George Schaaf was recognized for his commitment to see the plan to fruition and for his and his late wife June’s gift to help accomplish the goal. In recognition of the Schaaf’s abundant generosity, the College has named the athletics fields the George and June Schaaf Athletics Complex.
Over the past couple of years, construction of the fields has provided for an artificial turf soccer competition field, two grass practice soccer fields, two softball diamonds with a new dugout, scoreboards, fencing, and a baseball field that has entered the final construction phase.
The sports complex is possible because of a long-term lease arrangement with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.
A plan modification was recently developed for the addition of a practice area for Trinity’s golf team, an idea proposed by Schaaf’s grandson Brian Deckinga ’15, a team member.
Formal “thank yous” were offered by Bill Schepel ’85, athletics director; Beth Decker ’67, Board of Trustees chair; Rick Van Dyken, executive associate to the president for development; and student-athletes from the soccer, softball, and baseball teams who presented Schaaf with a soccer ball and home plate signed by team members.
Schaaf offered his own thanks noting the efforts of President Timmermans, Ken Mels, Marv Aardema, and the many others who worked on the grounds and behind the scenes, often donating time, funds, and materials to the complex development.
After the ceremony at the turf soccer field, the crowd moved to the baseball field to witness the unveiling of an engraved granite boulder in honor of the Schaaf’s contributions.
The College anticipates another two years until final completion of the entire complex as development continues on the east end of the property.
Schaaf said that he estimates the date of completion to be “the day I’m in the stands watching one of my grandkids. That’s when I’ll know the job is done.”