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Graves Family Sports Complex

Building a Dream

Thank You For Making This Possible!

We appreciate everyone who gave a gift to the Graves Family Sports Complex campaign for Kansas Wesleyan University. You helped to make it possible to bring our teams home to campus and provide a wonderful resource for the Salina community. 

We express our thanks in this video.

These photos document the progress of the construction of the new Graves Family Sports Complex beginning with the Jan. 9, 2014, symbolic start of demolition of the historic Glenn Martin Stadium. The project was completed in fall 2015. The most recent photos are at the top, and the oldest images are at the bottom. Enjoy this tour of the countless hours of planning and labor it took to bring this dream from plans to reality. The stadium was officially opened on Homecoming Day, Oct. 3, 2015, which began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new artificial turf Gene Bissell Field followed by the first intercollegiate football kick-off on the KWU campus since fall 2006.  

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Moving Closer to Completion

September 13, 2015

                                                                           

The brick wall masking the electrical power equipment at the corner of Cloud and Fourth Streets is finished. Soon pavers will be put into the concrete pads at the south and north ends of stadium. There is now a roof on top of the film/video deck above the press box. The concession stand room, with its two service windows, is nearing readiness for installation of equipment. Concrete work continues north of the stadium and at the northwest corner of the Graves Family Sports Complex. The stadium will be filled with fans for Kansas Wesleyan's first intercollegiate competitions at home on the new Gene Bissell Field, first with a "Beat Bethany" soccer double-header on Wednesday, Sept. 30, and then the Homecoming Football game Oct. 2 against McPherson College. 

Construction Delays Opening of Graves Family Sports Complex

September 10, 2015

Construction will delay the opening of the Graves Family Sports Complex until the last week of September 2015, which means the restructuring of the schedule for some upcoming athletic events.

The Junior Varsity Football game against Baker University on Sunday, Sept. 13, will be played at 4 p.m. at Salina Stadium. Women’s Soccer will play its match against MidAmerica Nazarene at Bethany College’s Anderson Field in Lindsborg on Wednesday, Sept. 16 starting at 7 p.m.

The Varsity Football home game against Sterling College on Community Day, Sept. 19, will be played at Salina Stadium, with kickoff at 6 p.m. Look for a special promotion in the Salina Journal for a discounted admission coupon.

The Men’s Soccer match on Sept. 23 against Hastings College right now is scheduled for 9 p.m. at Salina Stadium, but may see a time and venue change. A Sept. 23 reserve Men’s Soccer game against Bethany College will be played at Salina Stadium at 2 p.m.

The opening week for the Graves Family Sports Complex will be Kansas Wesleyan’s Homecoming Week. The first games to be played on the new Gene Bissell Field will be the Sept. 30 double-header of Women’s Soccer at 5:30 p.m. and Men’s Soccer at 8 p.m. Prior to the 6 p.m. kickoff of the Homecoming Football game on Saturday, Oct. 3, will be the dedication of Gene Bissell Field. The Coyotes will host McPherson College in KWU’s first home Varsity Football game on campus since Oct. 21, 2006.

Please check the latest updates of times and locations for Athletics schedules at www.kwucoyotes.com

Dreams of Games Ahead

September 10, 2015

   

On this Thursday afternoon, the KWU Coyote Football team practiced on Gene Bissell Field. Meanwhile, the news went out to announce that another construction delay would postpone the first team competitions at the Graves Family Sports Complex until Homecoming Week at the end of September. Practices will continue on campus in the meantime.

New Scoreboard in Place

September 4, 2015

         

The Kansas Wesleyan scoreboard is now up and installed, ready to light up for Coyote Football, Men's Soccer and Women's Soccer scores. As the sun goes down, dreams loom large of the new stadium filled with cheering WKU fans. 

Brickwork Complete By Video Deck, Begins Around Power Transformer

September 2, 2015

                  

The brick wall to shield the power transformer and electrical equipment from the streets has been started. As work at the Graves Family Sports Complex continues, sports teams like Women's Soccer continue to use Gene Bissell Field and the practice field. The new scoreboard is partially installed, with more pieces to go. The railings are installed along the south end ramp and the steps up to the bleachers in the stadium. Meanwhile, the brickwork has been completed on the north end pillar beside the film/video deck on top of the press box. 

Retrofitting Supports for New Scoreboard

September 1, 2015

            

The new KWU Coyotes scoreboard arrived in pieces, ready to be assembled. This day work began on retrofitting the supports of the old scoreboard so that it could hold the new scoreboard. 

Curbing and Sidewalks Going In, Exterior Walls Going Up

August 30, 2015

                                                                                             

On this Sunday evening, more progress can be seen. Curbing and sidewalk at the corner of Cloud Street and Fourth Street, and along the south side of the stadium has gone in. The exterior walls went up recently, giving the stadium more of a finished look. More concrete forms are in place at the north end of the structure. The stairways are in place on either side of the two concessions windows. Soon there will be fans filling these bleacher seats. Workers were out on the tennis courts, washing away the dirt to prepare it for resurfacing. Little by little, the work continues toward completion.

Concrete Work, Locker Room Construction Move Along

August 13, 2015

                           

The excitement continues to grow to see so much of the brickwork on the new stadium completed, with more to go. The seating for more than 1900 persons boasts the purple and gold school color accents. There continues to pouring of concrete at the north end of the stadium, as well as construction work inside the north locker room space. Along the north perimeter of the Graves Family Sports Complex, the concrete work has been completed outside of the fence next to the parking by Claflin Avenue.  

Work Progresses on Mechanical Systems, Brickwork, Accessibility Ramps

August 12, 2015

                              

On Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, while the Women's Soccer team practiced on Gene Bissell Field and Men's Soccer took the practice field, workers made progress on the structural and mechanical systems of the new stadium. Brickwork continued on the exterior of the structure, and the accessibility ramps were being installed. At the southwest corner of the Graves Family Sports Complex, near the intersection of Cloud Street and Fourth Street, concrete work was being done near the power transformers.   

Fall Coyote Home Schedule Shifts With Stadium Construction Delays

Bissell Field Dedication Moved to October 3; Opening Game to be Played at Salina Stadium

August 7, 2015

The new Graves Family Sports Complex at Kansas Wesleyan University will be in full swing on Monday, August 10 as two-a-day practices begin for a record-number fall student-athletes. However, delays in the construction process will push back the first games on Bissell Field.

The construction process has encountered the delays due to unforeseen existing conditions at the stadium site, plus heavy rains this summer made the area too muddy for concrete work.  The construction team discovered an unmarked city pipe in the path of the planned sewage pipe from the stadium to the city sewer line. Now the university must install a large lift station, which will take several weeks that were not factored into the original timeline. With the delay, the university has decided to change the scheduled events around the opening of the stadium to allow fans to plan in advance to attend the dedication event.

The dedication of the new Gene Bissell Field, honoring legendary head coach Gene Bissell, will take place on Saturday, October 3 as part of the Homecoming festivities, prior to the 6 p.m. game between the Coyotes and longtime rival McPherson Bulldogs.  An alternative date will be selected for a stadium dedication when former governor Bill Graves and his family are able to participate.

At the current pace of construction, the university anticipates using the facility for home competition beginning with the women’s soccer match on Wednesday, September 16. Sacred Heart is scheduled to play at home on Friday, September 18. The first college football game in the facility would be on Saturday, September 19, the KCAC opener against Sterling. The university plans to meet with City of Salina officials later this month to confirm the timeline.

“While it is unfortunate that we will not to be in the facility for the first game of the season,” said President Dr. Matt Thompson, “we knew it was a tight timeline that would have had to work perfectly. It’s not unusual for construction projects to run into unexpected delays.”

The student-athletes participating in fall sports arrive Saturday, and the teams will practice in the stadium while construction continues.

“It has been exciting to watch the transformation of the new stadium throughout the summer, and the energy and enthusiasm in the community is terrific. Everyone is looking forward to attending an event in the stadium this fall,” said Dr. Thompson.

Officials considered playing the early fall games on campus by halting construction in between competitions; however, there were too many home contests that would have caused the craftsmen to start and stop, causing an even longer delay in completing the project. Setting the field dedication for October 3 will ensure that fans can make plans to attend, Dr. Thompson added.

The Saturday, Sept. 5 football game against Midland will be played at 6 p.m. at Salina Stadium, the home site for the Coyotes since the 2006 season. The university will also relocate the soccer matches scheduled for August 31, September 4, 6, 7, and 12.

The adjustments will also impact the Sacred Heart football game against Southeast of Saline scheduled for Friday, Sept. 4.

Brickwork Started on the Stadium, Purple and Gold Seating Accents in Place

July 27, 2015

                                            

The brickwork on the stadium's west wall, facing campus, has begun. The walls of the restrooms at each end of the stadium are painted. Next, the plumbing will go in. More inside work is being done in the visiting locker rooms under the stands. The purple and gold accents for the stadium seating have been installed, and some careful concrete work is being done in front of building between the seats and the eight-lane Olson Family Track. It is much easier now to envision how this place will look for Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 2-4, 2015.

Sidewalk Going In, Stadium Fascia Going On

July 9, 2015

                   

The concrete crew has been hard at work installing the new sidewalk on Cloud Street, along the south end of the Graves Family Sports Complex. Part of the process involves digging up the old cement driveway into the complex so that fresh concrete may be poured in its place. At the same time, workers are making progress inside the facility under the bleachers, and decorative fascia treatments are being installed along the front side of the stadium. 

The Press Box Goes Up On Top

July 2, 2015

                                        

A big crane lifted the new Press Box off its trailer and set it into place on the steel struts at the top of the stadium. Hints of things to come on game days! The work was done before some drizzle and rain came to campus in the middle of the day.  

Bleacher Seats Installation Begins

June 24, 2015

                           

Workers began installing the recently delivered metal bleacher seating. The concrete sidewalk outside the north end fencing and along the tennis courts is cured. Also on this day, a videographer shot video footage at the stadium construction project, in Dr. Ogle’s summer College Algebra class, inside Mabee Arena, and outdoors around the campus. Kansas Wesleyan will be mentioned in a video series being produced for the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce about what Salina has to offer, including educational opportunities. The videos will be ready in a few months and will be shown on SalinaKansas.org, with links shared via social media and email. 

Upper Bleacher Steel Framing Nearly Complete

June 19, 2015

                                                                  

The higher the installation of the steel bleacher framing goes, the easier it is to visualize the finished KWU stadium seats filled with fans. The upper level of the steel was put in place this week, marking steady progress toward the fall opening. More of the concrete sidewalk has been poured on the north end of the Graves Family Sports Complex, along Claflin Ave.

Lower Level Bleacher Steel Frame Goes In

June 15, 2015

                                                         

It is getting easier to imagine the stadium stands filled with people. Approaching the stadium project from campus gives one a glimpse of the future. Installation of the framing for the bleachers is nearly complete. Electrical, plumbing and masonry work continues underneath the steel structure. There is more concrete work ahead along the north end of the Graves Family Sports Complex, but the new concrete adjacent to the tennis courts along Claflin Ave. is dry and looks very nice.

Press Box Delivered, Bleacher Steel Going In 

June 10, 2015

                                                                                     

Things have been moving quickly this day, as a huge crane lifted into place the first set of bleacher steel to be installed at the new stadium of the Graves Family Sports Complex. Yesterday the new white press box arrived, which will eventually sit at the highest point of the stadium. While all this was going on, the concrete crew took advantage of the hot dry day to put down concrete along Claflin Ave. in front of the tennis courts. The resurfacing of the courts will be done later this summer.

First Bleachers Shipment Arrives 

June 8, 2015

                                    

This morning the first shipment of bleacher sections arrived at the stadium and were unloaded. David Toelle, Sports Information Director, said it well: "It's like Christmas in June!" Things at the new stadium are going to get very interesting this week. 

Almost Ready for the Steel to Frame the Stadium 

June 6, 2015

                                 

Though delayed at times this past week due to rainstorms, some of them heavy, the concrete block work for the stadium facility has continued in anticipation of the arrival of steel framing pieces and sections of bleachers. 

The View of the Stadium Construction from Gene Bissell Field 

May 31, 2015

                        

A beautiful Sunday morning revealed the sun shining on the stadium construction project site, as viewed from Gene Bissell Field looking across the Olson Family Track. Things are moving along, and fall is getting more and more exciting. Homecoming Oct. 2-4 is going to be awesome! 

Walls Continue to Go Up on Stadium 

May 26, 2015

                                          

The masons have been hard and at work in between times heavier rain and wind, continuing to build the block walls of the new stadium. The north end wall closest to the track appears to have reached the height of the floor for the first row of seats. The rest is coming along a little bit more every day. 

First Rooftop Photos In Six Months 

May 13, 2015

                     

Here are the first photos of the Graves Family Sports Complex taken from the rooftop of Peters Science Hall since Dec. 18, 2014, well before the arrival of spring and the completion of the surfacing and striping for the Olson Family Track (see April 21 entry for details about the naming of the track). From this high perspective, one can make out the restrooms and locker rooms on the ends of the stadium, and the concessions and other areas at the center.

Block on Block, Row on Row, Stadium Takes Shape  

May 12, 2015

                                                

The walls of the new stadium are going up, block by block and row by row. Plumbing and electrical work also is progressing. The sections of the new stadium are taking shape, such as restrooms and locker rooms, and it is getting easier to envision the completed building. Fall 2015 is going to be great. 

Block Walls For Stadium Start Going Up, Plumbing and Concrete Work Continues  

May 7, 2015

                                                            

This week, the masons have been putting up block walls at the ends of the new stadium, where the restrooms and locker rooms will be located. Meanwhile, the plumbers have been installing water lines, and more concrete floors were poured by the concrete workers. After some heavy rains early in the week, the sky cleared up this morning, allowing the crews to make some good progress before the anticipated wet weather later today.

First Football Practice Held on Gene Bissell Field

April 25, 2015

                                          

The day has finally arrived. The first KWU Coyote football practice on the new Gene Bissell Field was conducted this morning, a glorious glimpse of things to come for the Graves Family Sports Complex. The gray blustery day turned to sunshine and blue sky. Work continues on the stadium, which will provide nearly 2,000 seats for KWU and Sacred Heart fans when completed in time for fall sports.

First Women's Soccer Practice on the New Gene Bissell Field, Under the Lights

April 23, 2015

                                           

To cap off a big day, Women's Soccer Head Coach Blake Reynolds and his assistant coaches held their first team practice on the new Gene Bissell Field, at night under the lights. It was a glimpse of things to come in the late summer and fall. 

Meanwhile, Plumbing and Concrete Work Continues on Stadium

April 23, 2015

                             

Gradually, the plumbing and concrete work is being done for the new stadium. It is an on-going project in anticipation of laying of block for the stadium walls. We are seeing regular progress on this new facility at the Graves Family Sports Complex. 

Olson Family Track Striping Finished, Inaugural Track Team Run and Celebration

April 23, 2015

                                                                                    

It made total sense that the first person to run around the completed Olson Family Track at the Graves Family Sports Complex on this very special day would be Brent Bailey, head coach for Coyote Cross-Country and Track. He excitedly pointed to the finish line, said, "It is finished!"—and kissed the new track. Then he went back inside the Student Activites Center to gather his available runners who were not in science lab or class, and brought them out to run their first two laps ever around the eight-lane rubberized track. While they ran on the cushioned surface, smiles on their faces, Coach Bailey poured cups of sparking juice. They all gathered near the finish line to raise a toast to their new home facility. Then it was crunch time, as they did some core strengthening work. Go, Yotes!

First Track Lane Stripes Put Down, More Stadium Work  

April 21, 2015

                        

Striping on the new eight-lane, lighted Olson Family Track at the Graves Family Sports Complex at Kansas Wesleyan University is well underway on this day. The initial lane lines around the track were put down overnight. Surveyors are identifying the remaining striping points. The name of the track was chosen in appreciation for a generous gift to the Graves Family Sports Complex from Salina (KS) native Dale Olson of Midland, TX, who attended KWU in the 1940s. Before his wife Marceline passed away in 2012, the couple had determined to support Kansas Wesleyan in a significant way with their estate. Mr. Olson intends for the track to be a legacy honoring his brother, Virgil, who was a track and football star at Salina High School. Recently, a $10,000 gift was made in support of the Kansas Wesleyan Coyote track program by KWU alumnus Ed Doherty, ’47, of Hutchinson, KS. Mr. Doherty was a member of the 1942 KCAC Mile Relay championship team that was inducted into the Kansas Wesleyan Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997. He was captain of the 1947 KWU track team and a four-year letterman. Twice Doherty placed second in the KCAC track championships as a sprinter. He and other KWU students helped construct the original Martin Stadium in 1940-41 as a federal Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) project, a job that paid them 25 cents an hour. Doherty was among those who in the summer of 2013 urged that the plans for the Graves Family Sports Complex project include the track and field facilities that are now nearing completion.

Final Coats of Sealer Applied to Track, Stadium Plumbing and Foundation Work  

April 14, 2015

                              

The construction fencing was covered with black plastic to protect the stadium construction workers, as two more coats of sealer were applied to the track. Work continued on the foundation and plumbing for the new stadium. 

Second Coat of Sealer on the Track, Concrete Foundation Walls Poured For Stadium 

April 10, 2015

                                 

A second coat of sealer was being put down down on the track this week. Two more coats of sealer will go down before the stripes are put down on the track. Until the track striping is completed, there will be no team practices on Gene Bissell Field. The work is tedious for the four-man crew. One man mixes up the concoction in a garbage barrel using a power auger with a paddle. Another man on a golf cart takes it out to the spraying crew, fills the sprayer, and returns with the empty barrel. With the help of the mixer, he loads the new barrel full of mixture on the cart for another trip. The two-man crew do the spraying – one to spray, the other to pull the machine along and to help the man in the golf cart pour the stuff into the sprayer. The spray machine uses up each garbage barrel of mixture very quickly. So the sprayer waits for the next batch. Back and forth and back and forth. Meanwhile, concrete foundation walls have been poured for the south restroom, and the forms are ready to assemble in the north restroom space for pouring those foundation walls. Toward the end of next week or early the following week, a first course of block for the block walls will likely go in, starting with the east wall of the stadium. This will permit the concrete crew to begin pouring the foundation floor in the restrooms.

Red Acrylic Surface Goes Down on the Track, More Digging for Stadium Footings

April 6, 2015

                                          

A big part of preparation before spraying the red rubberized surface is taping off and protecting the infield and the fencing. Progress on the masking process was made today, with more to go. It is hoped that the track surface will be sprayed down by the end of the week. Work has continued on the stadium footings and excavation for the north restroom. The south restroom plumbing is put in place in anticipation of pouring the concrete foundation over it. Every day, the project moves closer toward the goal line for opening the sports complex this fall. 

Red Acrylic Surface Goes Down on the Track, More Digging for Stadium Footings

March 29, 2015

                                                         

It has been a busy weekend for the workers from Hellas Construction. On Saturday, March 28, they began applying a thick red acrylic surface on top of the black rubberized 8-lane track. They finished on Sunday, March 29, when these photos were taken. Their next step is to spray on a red rubberized layer. There has also been further digging for stadium footings, with steel rebar installed and concrete poured over the top. Also excavated is the area for the south end restroom, likely where the plumbing will go before the concrete slab is poured. 

Steel Going into the Trenches, Concrete Being Poured for Stadium Footings

March 20, 2015

                        

More progress has been made this week on the concrete footings for the west end of new stadium, to support the wall nearest Fourth Street. Steel rebar is placed in the trench prior to pouring concrete. After two cool and moist days, the warmer sunny weather has returned on this, the first day of Spring, and highs should be in the 70s F. through the weekend. On the south end of the track, work resumed on the spreading of the rubberized surface material on the paved underlayer.

Digging for Pouring Stadium Footings, and Rubberized Track Surface Going Down

March 17, 2015

                                                                                                      

The warm March weather has been a blessing. This week Hellas Construction began mixing together the ingredients and spreading the rubberized surface on the new 8-lane track that runs around Gene Bissell Field. The dream of Kansas Wesleyan hosting long distance races, relays and sprints in our own facility is rapidly becoming a reality. Today, some electrical work was being done on the sports complex lighting. The portable soccer goal frames have arrived, in preparation for the first practices on the field in April. And LS construction has been doing some digging in preparation for placing rebar in the bottom of the trenches and pouring the concrete footings for the stadium. Seeing is believing. Come by and take a look. It's going to be a great spring and summer as the stadium goes up.

Hellas Returns to Surface the Track, While Sidewalks Go In on Adjacent Streets

March 12, 2015

                                           

Several weeks ago, the high one day was just 19 degrees above zero, with lows near zero. Lately, with temperatures getting up up to low to mid 70s and lows in the 40s, spring is in the air -- though we are still a week away from the Spring Equinox on Friday, March 20. This week Hellas has returned with a truckload of materials for installing the rubberized surface on the 8-lane track. There is plenty of concrete work to last through the summer, and on this day a crew was constructing the sidewalk on Osborne Street, along the east side of the Graves Family Sports Complex. Soon, the sidewalks will go in on Claflin Street on the north end of the complex, adjacent to the paved parking spaces, and on Cloud Street along the south side of the track and fields.   

Perimeter Fencing Progress and Ground Preparation for Stadium Construction

January 30, 2015

                                                                  

Before the colder weather arrived, great progress was made on the perimeter fencing for three sides of the Graves Family Sports Complex, north, east and south. A heavy grader dug up the ground where the new stadium will be built, and fresh fill dirt was brought in, compacted and smoothed over in anticipation of the spring-summer construction project. The facility will stretch from 20-yard line to 20-yard line along the west side of Gene Bissell Field and the 8-lane track. The all-in-one stadium structure will include the press box, seating, locker rooms, concessions, restrooms and storage. Things are really getting exciting as we look toward bringing our home competition back to campus for Fall 2015. Some of these photos, taken on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, show the prepared ground where the stadium will stand. The view of that space and beyond will be changing dramatically in the months ahead.

Unseasonably Warm Weather Invites Work on Complex Fencing

January 16, 2015

                                                            

On this sunny day in mid-January, the temperature rose to a warm 65 degrees. The fine weather has melted most of the snow and allowed work to continue on the fencing project around the Graves Family Sports Complex. Brick pillars and connecting steel fencing are in place on the east and south sides of the property perimeter. Capstones were being placed on top of the pillars along Osborne Street, and more brickwork was being done along the perimeter on Claflin Avenue.

Project at a Stopping Point for Winter Weather; Perimeter Fencing Work Begun

December 18, 2014

               

These photos were taken on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, following the first significant snowfall of the season in Salina, KS. All is at rest now, but just wait. Picture athletes running on the field and around the track in warmer weather. Imagine the new stadium seating, to be completed for fall 2015. And the tennis courts, when resurfaced, will be a welcome campus asset for competition and recreation. Think spring.

Practice Field Turf Installed, Brickwork and Fencing Begun

December 16, 2014

       

These photos were taken Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014, when the high was in the 50s F. Blessed with mostly moderate temperatures during the first two weeks of December, Hellas Construction kept working on finishing the installation of the artificial turf on the practice field and putting turf down on the perimeter spaces of the Graves Family Sports Complex. Brickwork on the pillars for the fence at the edge of the project moved along well, and some of the black metal fencing between the pillars has been installed. The chain link fence along the edge of the tennis courts has been installed.

The Hellas work crews are now back home in Texas, but are expected to return in a few months. The ground became too cold to install the track surface, so that will wait until spring along with the rest of the turf installation and fencing construction. This Christmas is very bright, with visions of our student-athletes using this wonderful sports facility dancing in our heads.

Progress on the Track, Pits, Practice Field

December 1, 2014

                                             

Hellas Construction workers took advantage of the warm weather during Thanksgiving week to roll out and place cinder blocks on top of the artificial turf on the practice field along the east end of the Graves Family Sports Complex. Installation on Gene Bissell Field, including the lines for the soccer field, has been completed and a lot of clean-up has been done. Beyond the north end of the field, the track and field event pits were filled with sand. Brick work was begun on decorative pillars near the Osborne Street entrance located between the practice field and the tennis courts. New chain-link fence posts were installed in fresh concrete along the west side of the three tennis courts. Everything was at a standstill on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, due to temperatures well below freezing.

The Biggest Logo in Kansas?

November 21, 2014

         

The KWU athletics Coyote logo has been pieced together and placed at the center of Gene Bissell field. Every competitor will know this place belongs to the Coyotes. Cinder blocks mark out the shape of the soccer penalty arc outside the goal box. The drainage gravel beyond the track is being smoothed and readied for the artificial turf.

Progress on Competition and Practice Fields

November 18, 2014

                                 

The Hellas workers continued to unroll and install turf along the edge of Gene Bissell Field, which now sports its name along the sidelines near each end zone. The pieces of the giant Coyote logo were waiting for placement at the center of the field. On the north end of the complex are track and field competition pits. Drainage is being installed along Claflin Ave. and along the practice field side of the paved track. The concrete retaining wall for the practice field is complete along Cloud St. and Osborne St.

Adding the Special Touches

November 10, 2014

          

On this day, following sunshine and a mid-day high near 70 degrees F, the winds kicked up to 30-40 mph and the temperatures plummeted. The competition field continues to get accents of color. These include combination gold-white-purple stripes going across the width of the field at the 50-yard line, and also at each 20-yard line to delineate the "red zone" near each end zone. More concrete work was being done along Claflin Ave., with the cement delivery truck filling the hopper on a small tractor with concrete to be brought over to the work area.

Adding End Zone Names, Colorful Accents

November 7, 2014

 

(Photos by David Toelle, Sports Information Director)

Installing the color and design accents into an artificial turf field is a lot like a custom-designed carpet installation. It takes months of advanced planning, plus careful production, transporting and arranging of the pieces, and expert artful eyes in creating the finished product. On the gold south end zone are the words "Kansas Wesleyan" in purple letters outlined in white. On the purple north end zone is the word "Coyotes" in white letters outlined in gold. Around the perimeter of the field are purple and white accents. Every white stripe across the width of the field must also be installed, along with hash-marks at the sidelines. In addition, the track now has an asphalt surface. Hellas Corporation has the expertise and experience to do this right.

A Splash of Color on Gene Bissell Field

November 5, 2014

On Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, this was the scene in the late afternoon. Gene Bissell Field has two colored end zones, one in each of Kansas Wesleyan's colors. A gold end zone sits at the south end of the field, and a purple end zone completes the north end of the field -- both with installed goal posts. Gold and purple stripes run the width of the field at the 50-yard line. Pavers completed their work at the south end of the installation, beyond the end zone, and were hard at work at the north end. If you have the opportunity, drive by and see the progress. It's moving quickly.

Rolling Out Gene Bissell Field

October 31, 2014

Today, workers began unrolling the rolls of artificial turf for the competition field at the Graves Family Sports Complex. This long awaited day arrived after temperatures had dipped to the mid-20s overnight. The expected warmer temperatures and sunny skies over the weekend will help the gluing process go smoothly.

Preparing for Installation

October 30, 2014

Workers from Hellas Construction strolled along the new competition field at the Graves Family Sports Complex, making a final check of the surface prior to the installation of the artificial turf. So much has changed here since the Groundbreaking ceremony on June 6.

Retaining Walls, Practice Field Taking Shape

October 29, 2014

A grader smoothed the area between the old stone ticket booths where mounds of dirt had stood. The concrete retaining walls around the game field and the track are nearly finished. Workers are construction retaining walls around the perimeter of the Graves Family Sports Complex, first along Osborne Street. The practice field is taking shape with the piles of dirt hauled over from where the old stadium stood.

Steady Progress

October 27, 2014

Photo of a Construction site

With much of the concrete retaining walls in place along the west side of the track, fill dirt is being put on top of a wall to allow trucks to travel over it. Meanwhile, you'll notice that the piles of dirt where Glen Martin Stadium once stood are being moved to the other side of the project near the practice field preparation. More forms are in place for concrete between the track and the practice field. And much of the four-foot tall retaining wall along Osborne Street has been poured into the wooden form. More forms remain to be built and more concrete work lies ahead, but this is getting pretty exciting. Daily progress. If you're in town, drive by.

Hauling Away Dirt and Pouring Concrete

October 24, 2014

The warm weather front has been very beneficial to the progress on the Graves Family Sports Complex. The curving concrete retaining walls around the south end of the track are taking shape. On the south end of the complex, the wood forms are removed from the inside curve and concrete is being poured into the outer curve forms. More concrete was poured where the new power boxes for the complex are to be located. Take a look beyond the old stone Glenn Martin ticket booth. The huge piles of dirt where the new stadium will be built are being hauled over to the practice field area for use there. Drive by this project and you'll see the exciting changes happening before your eyes. It is looking different every day.

More Concrete Work Around Track and Along Osborne Street

October 23, 2014

Workers on this day were building the wood forms for pouring the concrete for the track's outside curve retaining wall, while machines prepared the ground of the practice field. Along Osborne Street, the concrete footing has been poured in preparation for building the perimeter wall.

Prep Work for Outside Curve Retaining Wall Forms For Track

October 22, 2014

While a front loader moves huge bucket loads of dirt, the trencher on the back of a small tractor dug a trench. This was to hold wooden forms for the concrete retaining wall along the outside curve of the south end of the new track. Notice the concrete has been poured into the inside curve forms.

Inside Curve Retaining Wall Forms For Track

October 21, 2014

The forms are set for pouring concrete and making the inside retaining wall for the south end of the track around the scoreboard. Once the concrete is poured and cures, dirt will be backfilled against this wall for a solid sub-surface beneath the track pavement.

Our Athletic Teams Thank Our Sports Complex Donors

            

Our coaches and teams expressed their thanks in a short video. Click here to watch it.

A Big Public KWU Thank You To Everyone For Making This Possible!

October 17, 2014

    

This sign went up the day after our big announcement of reaching our goal and receiving the Mabee Foundation Challenge Grant. Every dollar given or pledged made this possible! We appreciate everyone who gave a gift to the Graves Family Sports Complex campaign for Kansas Wesleyan University. You helped to make it possible to bring our teams home to campus and provide a wonderful resource for the Salina community. Construction crews are working hard to make great progress before the cold weather arrives.

Former Governor Bill Graves, '76, Announces a Successful Campaign, and the Naming of Gene Bissell Field and Graves Family Sports Complex

October 16, 2014

On Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, Kansas Wesleyan University hosted alumni, board, coaches, athletes and other students, faculty, staff and donors, plus the public and the media, for a special announcement by former Kansas Governor Bill Graves ’76, and legendary KWU football coach Gene Bissell regarding the successful conclusion of the fundraising campaign for the newly named Graves Family Sports Complex. Mr. Graves served as national chair, and Coach Bissell served as honorary chair, of the Sports Complex fundraising committee. The event kicked off 2014 Homecoming Weekend for the university, when Bissell's 1971 football team, which included Graves, was inducted into the KWU Coyote Athletics Hall of Fame, along with other teams and individual athletes, during a breakfast and awards ceremony at 8 a.m. Saturday Oct. 18 in Muir Gymnasium. 

                                                                                    

On this special day, October 16, 2014, as a kick-off to Homecoming Weekend, the new KWU Coyotes Marching Pep Band got everyone in a celebratory mood. On hand were members of the KWU Board of Trustees and the KWU Foundation Board, Coyotes coaches, cheerleaders and football players, faculty, staff, students and honored guests.

Mike Hermann, director of Athletics, stepped up to the microphone welcomed everyone to this special announcement event. He introduced President and CEO Matt Thompson, Ph.D., who pointed out to those assembled that “this day has been much anticipated, and we are thrilled that you are here to celebrate it with us!”

Dr. Thompson introduced former two-term Kansas Governor Bill Graves, KWU Class of 1976, who served as national chair of the Sports Complex fundraising committee. Also present was his sister, Martha Graves Reese, and her husband, who have also been tremendously supportive of this project. Mr. Graves spoke of the commitment made by the Mabee Foundation a year ago by challenging Kansas Wesleyan to raise the first $6.75 million of the project cost by Oct. 8, 2014.

“Thanks to many of you here today,” Graves said, “alumni and Salina business leaders, Sacred Heart Junior and Senior High School parents and administrators, and many people who have no connection to Wesleyan but knew this was important to the community, we hit the $6.75 million to secure the Mabee grant.”

At that moment, he presented a check for $750,000, the final 10 percent of the project, to Dr. Thompson and the university on behalf of the Mabee Foundation. “This funding from the Mabee Foundation has put us past the $7.5M mark, and I’m pleased to announce that we have raised the money needed to complete the Sports Complex,” he said. He spoke of how proud their parents would be to know that their legacy had made it possible for Bill and Martha to join together in supporting this campaign in a significant way.

Legendary coach Gene Bissell, honorary co-chair of the campaign, was in attendance with his wife and daughter. He spoke next. With great humor, he recalled when he and his wife first arrived at KWU in 1950, and how the 100 degree weather had them thinking they would stay only a year. However, he was on staff for more than 25 years, winning KCAC championships along the way. His 1971 football team, on which Graves played, was to be inducted into the KWU Athletics Hall of Fame the next Saturday morning, Oct. 18, 2014. Concerning the funding to complete a new Sports Complex, Coach Bissell said he has been looking forward to this day for a long time.

Next, President Thompson revealed the rendering which shows the look of the new field. Along both sidelines, toward opposite end zones, are the words proclaiming “Gene Bissell Field.” One end zone will be gold with white-outlined purple letters spelling “Kansas Wesleyan,” and the other end zone will be purple with gold-outlined white letters spelling “Coyotes.” The president then presented Coach Bissell with a stone engraved with the KWU Coyote logo, which had been one of the stones used to build the once long-standing Glenn L. Martin Stadium which had been taken down in January 2014 as the first action step in the building of a new sports complex on that property.

Finally, President Thompson shared one more special announcement. 

“We’ve been referring to this project as the Sports Complex for many years, and we have been thinking of a way to honor Governor Graves and the entire Graves family for all their support and encouragement through the years. And today, we can officially share with you the new name of our sports complex – The Graves Family Sports Complex!”

Bill Grevas, vice president for Institutional Advancement, stepped up to thank the original members of the fundraising committee, “and those who came before us who had the vision and got the ball rolling – people like Kent Lambert, Phil Coleman, and so many others who have had so much passion around this project.”

Grevas also expressed his deep appreciation to all donors of gifts, no matter the size, and thanked the anonymous donor who stepped up during the 100-Day dash with a matching grant of up to $400,000. When that opportunity was announced in the Salina Journal, the phones began ringing the very next day.

“That really encouraged others to give to the campaign, including people in the community not affiliated with KWU but who saw this as a good thing to support for the benefit of Salina. It helped us greatly to meet the goal of the Mabee challenge grant,” he said. 

Grevas closed by thanking his Institutional Advancement team for all their hard work, especially during the final 100 days of the campaign. Randy St. Clair, '66, Chairman of the KWU Board of Directors, expressed his appreciation to all who had made this day possible, saying it was a wonderful start to several days of board meetings a great Homecoming Weekend 2014. 

Everyone was invited to come up and look at the layout for the new Gene Bissell Field and the Graves Family Sports Complex.

More Stone for Good Drainage on the Future Playing Field

October 14, 2014

 

These photos were taken on Saturday Oct. 11, 2014, showing the progress of spreading the stones over the playing surface of the new football-soccer field at the Sports Complex. Meticulous work now will provide a smooth layer of drainage material under the artificial turf.

Stone is Spread to Go Under Artificial Turf

October 8, 2014

The work of spreading stone on top of the game field at the new Sports Complex is coming along steadily. This is part of the drainage system that will lie under the artificial turf playing surface. Also, the prep work for installing the electrical power boxes for the entire complex has begun.

Work Continues On Playing Field Drainage

October 6, 2014

Deliveries of drainage stone were eagerly awaited this past weekend at the KWU Sports Complex project, with crews standing by to continue spreading it over the protective plastic sheeting that sits on top of the playing field. Prior to the laying down of the plastic, the earthwork tested as having far surpassed compaction standards. The delivery and spreading of stone should be completed this week, making things ready for the artificial turf. Keep driving past the east end of campus on Claflin and Cloud to see the latest developments.

Drainage System Goes In

September 30, 2014

Drainage work on new playing field went full speed ahead on Tuesday, Sept. 30. Plastic sheeting was laid on the field surface and tucked into the drainage ditch around the perimeter. Gravel filled the ditch, while the wooden forms were removed from the new poured concrete retaining wall for the track. The plastic sheeting was secured ahead of the approaching rain, in preparation for laying down drainage stone to go under the artificial turf.

More Progress On Site

Sept. 29, 2014


Work on the Sports Complex was full tilt on Sunday. The concrete crew from Texas was building the wooden forms for pouring the concrete retaining wall along the edge of the track. The other Texas crew has dug a deep ditch for the drainage system all around the playing field and track. The water truck and grading machine operators were hard at work, working on the field surface elevations in preparation for the black plastic to go down under the artificial turf. 

Things Are Moving Forward

Sept. 26, 2014

This week the project superintendent for the Sports Complex installation process arrived from Houston. The rain storms notwithstanding, he is pressing ahead on the project with energy and optimism. First, he has brought in two full concrete crews to redouble their efforts. They have been installing drainage systems, and building from scratch a concrete drain basin near Claflin Ave. (see photo) to avoid the three-week delay for having one delivered. They will soon start in on the retaining walls and pour the concrete pedestals for the end zone goal posts. Next week we should have mostly clear weather, so expect some big progress.

The Lights Are Up!

Sept. 19, 2014

Today, the light poles and the lighting for the practice and game fields at the KWU Sports Complex were put on their concrete pedestals. You really need to drive by and see it for yourself. Tell your friends! It's looking more and more like our Fields (and track and tennis courts) of Dreams!

Light Poles Ready To Be Lifted Into Place

Sept. 18, 2014

Do you pass by Kansas Wesleyan University? Keep your eyes on the sky over the sports complex project. Soon the light poles will be lifted up and installed in place on top of the concrete pedestals. Drive up Fifth Street past the complex and imagine the new grandstand in place of those huge piles of dirt. Help us raise the money we need to raise by Oct. 8 to build it! Give or pledge during September and your gift is doubled.

Concrete Bases Are Poured and Ready for Field Lights

Sept. 5, 2014

This week, another exciting development: the tall concrete bases for the sports complex field lights have been poured, six in all, as well as several more smaller poles to support lights at the future entrance gates. Also, along Claflin Avenue, adjacent to and north of the fields and next to the soon to be renovated Bradley Tennis Courts, the ground has been cleared and prepared for finish work. We are 30 days away from the Oct. 8 deadline to reach our funding goal. Progress has been made, but we still have a way to go. Give a gift today and help us get closer to hitting the mark. 

Ground Preparation Continues

Aug. 15, 2014

Hellas Construction's crew is continuing their steady groundwork at the new KWU Sports Complex project, using the heavy roller to compact the soil in places, using the spray from their water tanker to soften the ground in other places, and then using the grader to remove more soil to create a smooth, level surface that will sit beneath the artificial turf.

Today, they focused on preparing the 8-lane track and removing the last bit of extra dirt from the practice field. If you haven't been by, come take a look. Things are taking shape for a top facility that will make Salina proud. We are nearing the mid-way point in our 100 Day Dash, so there's still time to help bring this project home. Thanks to all of you who have donated!

New Curb Going In On Osborne Street

July 22, 2014

 

Today the new curbing along the east side of the new KWU Sports Complex is being installed on Osborne Street, between Claflin Avenue and Cloud Street. More good news: a few days ago Cloud Street was opened to through traffic after being completely closed for a number of weeks.

Grading Has Begun!

July 9, 2014

The turf has been removed, and the site grading is officially under way by Hellas Construction in preparation for the installation of the fields and track that will be a gem for the Salina community.

At the same time, the 100-Day Dash is in full swing to raise the remaining $1.75 million and qualify for the $750,000 Mabee Foundation challenge grant, which represents 10 percent of the entire project cost. Prior to the start of this fast-running campaign on July 1, we raised $5M of the $7.5M project. The Mabee Foundation will provide the grant to finish the project -- if we reach $6.75M by Oct. 8. If we hit this goal, we can complete the project with a fan-friendly grandstand, concessions area, restrooms and a visiting locker room.

Get excited with us, and please give what you can. Make a gift today.

Hellas Has Arrived!

July 1, 2014

Hellas Construction Company, from Austin, Texas, arrived on campus today and got right to work, clearing the competition and practice fields!

University Seeks Final $1.75M to Bring it Home

July 1, 2014

The earth started moving today at Gene Bissell Field, making way for the new $7.5 million Sports Complex at Kansas Wesleyan University. Hellas Construction from Austin, Texas, has arrived and is preparing for the installation of two, lighted turf fields and an eight-lane track.

Today the university is also launching a 100-Day Dash campaign to raise the final $1.75 million needed to receive a challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation. The foundation will provide $750,0000—the final 10 percent of the project—if the university reaches $6.75 million by October 8. To date, $5 million has been raised, enough to move forward on Phase I of the project: the turf fields, lights, track and resurfaced tennis fields.

“Hitting the final $1.75 million will allow us to accept the Mabee gift and complete the entire project,” said President & CEO, Matt Thompson, Ph.D.

The final funding will enable the construction of a 1,600-seat grandstand, concession stands, restroom facilities and a field house for visiting teams.

“This is a community facility,” said Dr. Thompson. “We will encourage our neighbors to use it as a fitness facility, and Sacred Heart Junior and Senior High School teams and youth football will use the fields. It will be a fan-friendly event venue that will host regional and state championships, potentially attracting thousands of visitors to Salina and creating economic stimulus for our region.”

Several individuals, businesses and foundations in the Salina community have boosted fundraising efforts with major gifts.

“There has been positive momentum around this project since the demolition in January, and now that the construction has officially begun, I’m confident that those who have a passion around Kansas Wesleyan University and those who support economic development in Salina will help us reach our goal.”

Learn more or make a gift with the Office of Institutional Advancement. 

Street Work Begins

June 18, 2014

Work has begun on Osborne Street to make way for the new Sports Complex. Osborne has become a one-way street southbound to accommodate the eight-lane track that will encircle the two, lighted turf fields. The stadium lights are also being removed this week!

KWU Breaks Ground
Contractor has Kansas Roots

June 6, 2014

Salina, Kan. – Kansas Wesleyan University hosted an official groundbreaking ceremony for its $7.5 million Sports Complex on Friday, June 6. More than 100 civic, university faculty, alumni, staff, coaches, administrators and community members attended the event and applauded the project.

The University also announced that Hellas Construction, Inc., of Austin Texas, will be the primary contractor on the project. Owned and operated by Wichita native Reed J. Seaton, Hellas is an industry leader in synthetic turf, sports surfaces and turnkey sport construction. It boasts an impressive client list that includes Cowboys AT&T Stadium, the Alamodome, Baylor University, the University of Georgia and many other prominent collegiate institutions.

With over 30 years of experience, Seaton has extensive experience in all facets of business, including mergers and acquisitions, having acquired over 15 companies. He was Ernst & Young’s 1996 Entrepreneur of the Year, and the Austin Business Journal recognized Hellas in 2010 as one of the fastest growing companies in central Texas. Seaton, who serves as President and CEO, attended Wichita Southeast High School and went on to attend the University of Kansas.

Kansas Wesleyan President and CEO, Dr. Matt Thompson, and Director of Athletics, Mike Hermann, delivered comments at the ceremony.

“There have been many special moments created in Glenn Martin Stadium, on the track and on this Gene Bissell Field over the past sixty years over the past 60 years,” Hermann said. “Today, we begin creating new memories on the new Gene Bissell Field, where generations of Kansas Wesleyan University Coyotes, Sacred Heart Knights, and Salvation Army youth football players will achieve new personal bests and set new school records.”

Thompson, who recently celebrated his first year as president, stated, “This past year has been filled with special moments, and today’s groundbreaking is certainly among the highlights.”  

Thompson said that the university selected Hellas because of its impressive list of clients but also because the company will produce and install the turf, allowing them to control and manage the field project from start to finish. 

The crowd applauded when he said that the start of construction would begin within the next few weeks. Legendary Coyote football coach, Gene Bissell, was a special guest at the event and participated in the ceremonial groundbreaking. He and former Kansas governor and KWU alumnus, Bill Graves are chairing the Sports Complex Campaign Committee.  

Phase I, which includes the two lighted, turf fields, the eight-lane track, street improvements and perimeter fencing, lights, plus resurfacing of the tennis courts is expected to be completed this fall.

Phase II includes the grandstand, the centerpiece of the project. If enough funds are committed by October 2014, the deadline for the $750,000 Mabee Foundation matching grant, construction of the grandstand could begin as early as November 2014. It will take approximately six months to build. Phase III will be the construction of a field house with locker rooms for soccer and visiting teams.

For more information, visit www.kwu.edu or contact Hermann at mike.hermann@kwu.edu or (785) 827-5541, ext. 3232.

Souvenir Stadium Stones Still Available!

Many memories were made at Glenn Martin Stadium. If you would like to purchase an engraved Martin Stadium souvenir stone, there are still a variety of them from which to choose. Visit Yotee's in the Student Activities Center to make your purchase. 

Stadium Gifts

Thank you for helping us reach our $7.5 million goal! For more information about this project or ways you can contribute toward those things that were not included in the capital campaign, please contact bill.grevas@kwu.edu or mike.hermann@kwu.edu.

Wrecking Ball Finishes Taking Down Stadium, Site Cleared

February 24, 2014

                           

This final day of demolition arrived for the taking down of the remaining section of Glenn L. Martin Stadium and the removal of debris, yielding a fresh canvas for the new KWU stadium facility. A cleared building site is the stuff dreams are made of.  

Taking Another Bite Out of Martin Stadium

February 18, 2014

                  

It was slow going, carefully pulling down the rock solid stone and concrete elements of Glenn L. Martin Stadium. Each day, more of the decades of memories hit the ground, clearing the way for a new sports stadium.

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down, Little By Little

February 17, 2014

                           

The demolition of Glenn L. Martin Stadium was gradual. A lot of sweat and muscle went into the building of those concrete and stone walls back in 1940-41, and now, 73 years later, they were being pulled apart, a bit at a time. Some of the stones were being salvaged and saved, some for a future Martin Stadium Memorial at the new Graves Family Sports Complex to be built on this piece of property, and some to be engraved for souvenirs and sold at Yotee's Bookstore in the Student Activities Center.

Lifting Off the Martin Stadium Press Box

February 12, 2014 

                                                            

The filming deck had already been removed from on top of the press box at KWU's Glenn L. Martin stadium. Now, this day, the crane crew lifted the press box off of its pedestal with the word "Wesleyan" painted on the front. A lot of time and care went into the cabling process and preparation for the lift. The box was eased off the stadium and lowered onto a waiting semi-tractor flatbed trailer. At the same time, workers cleared out the rooms under the stadium seating.

Invitation to the Start of Martin Stadium Demolition

Jan. 9, 2014

                                           

Demolition of Kansas Wesleyan's historic Glenn L. Martin Stadium was scheduled to publicly and ceremonially begin on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, as the university celebrated the beginning of a new era on campus while also commemorating the long-time campus stadium, which was built in 1940-41. Martin Stadium and Gene Bissell Field was under the lights with night games since 1983. It was home to Sacred Heart High School Football since 1978. The stadium had not been utilized for KWU games since 2007, though it continued to host Sacred Heart High School home games until the Knights' last game was played there on Nov. 5, 2013.

On this overcast day in January 2014, the public was invited to attend a short program at noon, presented by KWU President and CEO Matt Thompson, Ph.D., and Mike Hermann, director of Athletics, in the Hauptli Student Center, inside the Student Activities Center.

"We welcome the community of Salina to join us for this historic day," Mike Hermann, director of Athletics, had said in the announcement. "This is a significant event in our campus history and we would love for our neighbors to share in the excitement."

Following the short program, guests were taken by the university vans to the field to witness the ceremonial start of demolition at 12:15 p.m., followed by a $5 chili lunch back at the Hauptli Student Center. Among the special guests were a couple of men who had helped to build Glenn Martin Stadium (though not together) as a W.P.A. project in 1940, working for $.25 per hour, Warren Young ('49) and former KWU football player Bill Keeler ('44), who attended with his wife Betty Price-Keeler. 

Some of the sandstone rocks from the demolition of the stadium were to be preserved for the creation of a Glenn Martin Stadium memorial in the new sports complex, and others were kept for engraved souvenirs to be made available through the university bookstore, called Yotee's. 

After the ceremonial corner of the stadium was removed for this gathering, the start of the demolition was delayed some weeks due to winter weather. It did finally get underway in mid-February.

Time For a Change - Pre-Demolition

                                  

If These Stones Could Talk

Glenn L. Martin Stadium at KWU - constructed 1940-41

      

(BLACK & WHITE PHOTO OF FANS IN THE MARTIN STADIUM SEATS TAKEN FROM 1958 COYOTE YEARBOOK)

         

(BLACK & WHITE PHOTO: KWU FOOTBALL TEAM THAT INCLUDED FUTURE TWO-TERM KANSAS GOVERNOR BILL GRAVES; PLAQUE: THE 1940 CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS KWU FOOTBALL TEAM, INCLUDING BILL KEELER '44 - HALFWAY DOWN THE RIGHT COLUMN -- WHO HELPED TO BUILD GLENN L. MARTIN STADIUM)

                           

To read the KWU Advance student newspaper article* about the 1940 dedication of Glenn L. Martin Stadium and bio for Mr. Martin, CLICK HERE.

*Volume Thirty, Number Six, Friday, December 13, 1940

Glenn L. Martin - Salina, KS Native 

     

(Aviator Glenn Martin sitting on one of his early airplanes; in the silent film "The Girl of Yesterday" (1915) with Kenneth Douglas and Mary Pickford)

Glenn L. Martin was raised in Salina, Kansas. In 1903, the early flights by the Wright Brothers inspired the imagination of the world, and they certainly inspired the dreams of Glenn Martin. After graduation from high school, he enrolled at Kansas Wesleyan University. During his time at the university, he actually constructed his very first airplane and flew that plane in a field south of the Wesleyan campus. From there, he traveled to California and went on to become one of the true pioneers in the field of aviation. Throughout his career, he never forgot his Kansas roots and his love and appreciation for Kansas Wesleyan University. In 1933, he was awarded the honorary Doctor of Law degree from his alma mater. Martin established the first endowed fund for KWU in 1940, and he gave over $500,000 to the university during his lifetime and later through his estate. Kansas Wesleyan University home of the Glenn L. Martin stadium, a W.P.A. project, which was dedicated in 1940.

READ MORE ABOUT GLENN L. MARTIN HERE.

Long Before Martin Stadium Was Built, There Was Kansas Wesleyan Football 

1936 Kansas Wesleyan Football Team - Conference Champions

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1902 Kansas Wesleyan Football Team

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 1893 Kansas Wesleyan Football Team