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Ohio Wesleyan Graduate Contributes $300,000 for Selby Field Improvements
Gift from David E. Griffiths, Class of 1951, to Help Fund Addition of Stadium Lights, More

December 7, 2009

Selby Field
DELAWARE, OH – Ohio Wesleyan University announced today the receipt of a $300,000 gift from 1951 graduate David E. Griffiths of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Griffiths’ gift will help to fund enhancements at Selby Field, home of the Battling Bishops since 1929.

“This generous contribution will support several improvements at Selby Field, most visibly the installation of stadium lights, said Roger Ingles, Ohio Wesleyan’s director of athletics. “The lights, which we hope to have in place by summer, will allow us to utilize the field for additional athletic, intramural, and community events, potentially even some local high school football games.”

Griffiths’ gift also will support the addition of a digital scoreboard at Selby Field and, at his request, the installation of commemorative plaques to recognize Ohio Wesleyan athletic directors dating back to Branch Rickey, Class of 1904. Rickey is best known for breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson in the 1940s. The plaques will be installed along Selby Field’s south wall, refurbished recently thanks, in part, to a $200,000 gift made by Griffiths in 2005. He requested the plaques at that time. Combined, his contribution to Selby Field’s renovation now reaches $500,000.

Among the other athletic directors to be honored at Selby Field is Robert “Bob” Strimer, a mentor and friend of Griffiths’, who became Ohio Wesleyan’s head basketball coach in 1946 and served as athletic director from 1955 until his retirement in 1977.

Griffiths majored in politics and government at Ohio Wesleyan and went on to earn a law degree at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He is a partner in the Woodward & Griffiths law firm. He also is an Ohio Wesleyan life trustee and a member of the President’s Circle. In 1986, Griffiths received an Alumni Award for outstanding service to his alma mater.

“David Griffiths is a wonderful friend to Ohio Wesleyan University,” said Charles Powell, vice president for University Relations. “We appreciate his lifetime of hands-on involvement and his long-established philanthropic leadership. His generosity will help to ensure that future generations of Ohio Wesleyan students have the same life-changing collegiate experience that he had.”

The addition of stadium lights and a scoreboard represent only a part of the ongoing improvements at Selby Field. An OmniGrass artificial playing surface and an Ameritan FP track were installed for the 2006-2007 academic year, and projects to add a new, two-level press box, new bleacher seats, and refurbished locker rooms were completed previously.

Fundraising also continues for potential future improvements, including a permanent concession stand and a refurbished training room. Ohio Wesleyan will strive to complete as much of this work as possible prior to May 2011, when it hosts the 2011 National Collegiate Athletics Association Division III Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships. These championships will bring close to a thousand student-athletes to Delaware, along with large numbers of coaches, families, and fans from across the country.

Located on the eastern edge of Ohio Wesleyan’s 200-acre campus, Selby Field is home of the Battling Bishop football, field hockey, men’s and women’s track & field, and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. It is believed to be the nation’s oldest existing facility constructed to Olympic specifications and remaining in its original configuration.

Selby Field was designed by George Gauthier, Ohio Wesleyan’s Hall of Fame football coach and athletic director, with architectural work by Osborn Engineering Co., the same firm that designed the original Yankee Stadium. Selby Field, which seats 9,100, was named after George D. Selby, who served on the Ohio Wesleyan board of trustees for 24 years.

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 45 states and 57 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.