The newly renovated Shellenberger Field will be dedicated April 21 in a day of festivities that include two lacrosse games, the unveiling of what may be the world’s largest hornet statue, and a talk by LC alumna Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon 40 years ago.
Switzer will lead the Special Olympics opening lap at 9:30 a.m., give a talk on her new memoir, Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women’s Sports, at 10:30 a.m. in Sydnor Performance Hall in Centennial Hall, followed by a book signing between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and again between 2 and 3 p.m.
At 6:30 p.m., the “Fighting Hornet” statue will be dedicated. The nearly 10-foot bronze statue, which weighs 1,000 pounds and has a 10-foot wingspan, will stand on an 8-foot-high base. The hornet is a gift of Sen. Irwin Belk of North Carolina, and was sculpted by Jon Hair of Cornelius, N.C., the most highly commissioned monumental sculptor in the United States. Hair has more than 20 major public art commissions in the last five years alone. His sculptures appear in galleries, in private collections, and on a growing number of corporate and college campuses.
The women’s lacrosse team will take the field at 3:30 p.m. against Christopher Newport University. The new field and track will be dedicated at the halftime of a men’s lacrosse game against rival Hampden-Sydney College that begins at 7 p.m.
The renovation of Shellenberger, which cost $3.7 million, allowed University of Lynchburg to:
· Increase the track from six lanes to eight so LC can host NCAA track meets, as well as regional and state track meets at the high school level.
· Sustain year-round play for five varsity sports, thanks to a synthetic turf. Lines for soccer, field hockey, and men’s and women’s lacrosse are permanently stitched into the field.
· Increase recreational opportunities for University of Lynchburg students, thanks to new field lighting. More than 70 percent of LC students participate in varsity, intramural and club sport activities.
· Add a 500-seat grandstand, which includes 100 stadium seats, an open-air press pavilion and a plaza.
The field is named for longtime University of Lynchburg soccer coach Bill Shellenberger, who was once touted as “the winningest soccer coach in America,” with 31 consecutive winning seasons. The field was last renovated in the 1990s. Coach Shellenberger will attend the dedication.
For more information, contact Shannon Brennan at 434/384-3332 or Mike Carpenter at 434.544.8495.