It’s the season of change: as summer turns to fall, the students return, and our Stout Blue Devils return to the field. One exciting aspect of this new season of football is the new locker room added to the Sports and Fitness center.
The locker room will include a renovated floor and new lockers that each feature a padded seat, areas for clothes and equipment, and a storage box for players to store valuables. Yet how the lockers were funded is the real story.
It had always been the plan to renovate the locker room, but it kept getting pushed back. In the summer of 2015, however, head football Coach Clayt Birmingham and alumni began a fundraising campaign with a goal of $100,000.
Fundraising began in January, and fundraisers were able to raise almost three-fourths of the $100,000 goal. It is certainly a win for the football team to replace the almost 30-year-old locker room with something very new and distinct.
One very unique aspect of the new locker room is the opportunity for alumni to sponsor a locker. Alumni-sponsored lockers will include a plaque with their name, athletic photo and some of their on-the-field accomplishments placed on the top shelf of the locker.
Major donors are also being recognized with plaques, which can be seen outside the locker room and throughout the stadium concourse.
With many alumni funneling in donations, the support was definitely felt not just by the players and the coaching staff, but the entire Blue Devil athletic department. Through the great support of a dedicated coaching staff, invested alumni, and so many loyal Blue Devil football fans, there is an extra amount of motivation felt by the football program.
To these players and the many others that will follow in future seasons, this locker room will certainly be a driving force for further improvement within the university’s athletic department.