Improvements have begun on the University of Portland’s baseball stadium, Joe Etzel Field, thanks to the support of several donors. The multi-phased project will begin with the installation of artificial turf, designed to replace the natural grass field and give the baseball program much-needed flexibility.
Several donors have contributed to the project, including Larree M. Renda, who has given two gifts of a combined $400,000. Renda is an executive with Safeway Inc., based in Pleasanton, Calif., and a member of the University’s board of regents. Her son, Tommy Renda ’09, played baseball for the Pilots. Tom and Mary Herche, of Seattle, whose son Charlie Herche ’09 played baseball for the Pilots, gave $150,000 for the baseball field upgrade. Additional leadership gifts for the project have come from former players Lou Stremick ’71; Walt Spitznagel ’50; and Al Courter ‘69.
A total of $850,000 has been raised to date for the first phase. Other scheduled improvements during the first phase include new fencing, a new scoreboard, and eventually new lighting.
Formerly Pilot Stadium, the facility was completed prior to the 1988 baseball season. The stadium was renamed in the summer of 2004 in honor of former Portland athletic director and long-time head baseball coach Joe Etzel.
Following the initial renovation phase, a long-term phase II of the project is being developed which will include new grandstands, improved concession and ticketing facilities and baseball specific programming.
The gifts are part of the University’s RISE Campaign, which was announced in December 2010 with a goal of raising $175 million by June 30, 2014. Nearly $182 million has been raised to date, making it one of the largest fundraising campaigns ever for a Pacific Northwest private college or university.
For more information contact the development office at firstname.lastname@example.org.