Following the “first inning” April 5th announcement of the gift for the construction of McMahon Field and Athletics Center, a new softball complex that will benefit all Cameron University athletic teams, Cameron President Cindy Ross was joined by Aggie softball player Drew Wright and a host of special guests for the “second inning” – a softball-themed groundbreaking on the site of the complex. Joining Ross and Wright for the celebration was Kenneth Bridges, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the McMahon Foundation, which donated $1 million for the construction project. McMahon Trustees Kenneth Easton, Vice-Chairman; Mike Mayhall, Secretary-Treasurer; Dr. Ronald Cagle; Dr. Charles S. Graybill; Gale Sadler; and Orville Smith also attended the festivities.
“Because of the generosity of the McMahon Foundation, next spring, the Cameron Aggie softball team will have the complex it deserves,” President Ross said. “The team has qualified for the post-season playoffs three of the past four years and is currently in position to qualify again this season.”
President Ross asked attendees to look ahead with her to a warm spring day in 2013, where the Aggies will be positioned on a pristine, green field and supporters of the team will watch the game from covered bleachers or shaded, landscaped patio space. She evoked the ambience of the game, complete with music being broadcast from the new press box and a concession stand rife with the enticing aroma of hotdogs, popcorn and other traditional ballgame fare.
She envisioned members of both the Aggie softball and baseball team perfecting their swings in the batting cages that will be available in the indoor practice facility, and all Cameron athletes working on strength and conditioning in the complex’s weight room.
“Imagine a softball team that advances to a competitive, leadership position in the Lone Star Conference,” President Ross said, thanking the McMahon Foundation for stepping up to the plate with its $1 million donation. The gift is the fourth time the foundation has provided a gift of $1 million or more, and is the largest single gift in the history of Cameron University athletics.
Aggie softball players joined in on the celebration. Wright, a junior from Moore who plays third base, spoke on behalf of the team. She added her thanks to the McMahon Foundation and expressed appreciation for the facility. She then called upon teammate Kelsy Hebert to fire off the official “first pitch,” hitting a target that revealed a large construction sign with an architect’s rendering of the complete complex.
As the song “Centerfield” played, attendees got into the team spirit. President Ross invited those in attendance to join the Aggie softball team for their last home game of the season.
The McMahon Field and Athletics Center will be located across 38th Street from McCord Field, in close proximity to Cameron Stadium parking. The complex will include dressing and locker rooms for the team and umpires, a press box, a concession facility, an equipment storage room, covered bleachers, landscaped patio spaces with sun shades for additional viewing areas, an indoor practice facility with batting cages for both baseball and softball, and a new weight room for all Cameron athletes. Total cost for the project is estimated at $1.84 million. According to a proposed project schedule, the facility will be available for use in the Spring 2013.
The McMahon Field and Athletics Center adds to the $60 million in construction that has transformed the Cameron campus over the past nine years. The Academic Commons, currently under construction and scheduled for completion in July, will join the Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies (CETES), the CETES Conference Center, Cameron Village, the School of Business Building, the McMahon Centennial Complex and the Bentley Gardens in recent construction. Each of these capital improvements has played a part in Cameron’s status as the “Location of Choice” for community events and as the “University of Choice” for students throughout Southwest Oklahoma and beyond.
April 17, 2012 PR#12-078