West Liberty University announced today the naming of its new football stadium, the West Family Stadium, in honor of WLU’s biggest all-time donor, Gary E. West.
“Gary’s continued generosity to our university makes it appropriate to name the new stadium after the West Family. His leadership and remarkable philanthropy is visionary. Our students, alumni, staff and the entire community will benefit again from his kindness,” said Vice President of Institutional Advancement Jason Koegler.
“The stadium renovation project is a 100-percent privately-funded project. In the midst of continuing state cuts to higher education, we are especially grateful for the ongoing support from all our alumni and friends,” Koegler added.
The WLU Board of Governors approved the naming of the stadium at its Aug. 13 meeting. The West Family includes Gary’s wife, Flip, and his two brothers, Jack and James West, both graduates of WLU, Jack in 1957 and James in 1953.
A 1958 graduate of WLU, Gary West donated a total of $5 million toward the stadium project that began in 2008 with a $1 million lead gift for the new MondoTurf field. Then in 2013, the Wests donated an additional $500,000 to fund the Musco athletic lighting system for night games. The final $3.5 million gift funds the stadium updates including new fan seating with a reserved section, a new and expanded press box, a VIP hospitality box, customer friendly concession stands and restrooms, all ADA compliant.
The press box building incorporates full radio/TV broadcast capability and wireless Internet service for all working media.
M&G Architects and Engineers, Wheeling did the stadium design work. Waller Corporation, Washington, Pa. is the general contractor. Other contractors include: AE Pelley, Wheeling; United Electric, Wheeling; Kucera Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Shadyside; Kalkreuth Roofing, Wheeling; Mardo Masonry, Waynesburg, Pa.; Savage Construction, Wheeling; Joseph Testa Concrete Contracting, Carnegie, Pa.; LM Construction, St. Clairsville, Ohio and Saints Painting, Venetia, Pa.
The latest in the series of recent upgrades has turned West Liberty University’s football stadium into an NCAA Division II showcase that will be on full display on Sept. 6 as the Hilltoppers kick off their 89th season of intercollegiate football at home against defending Mountain East Conference champion Shepherd University.
Combined with the enhanced landscaping and design elements, the 3,200-seat West Family Stadium can now be considered one of the top NCAA Division II stadiums in the region.