Wilkes University Announces $8 Million in Enhancements to Ralston Athletic Complex
Wilkes University will invest nearly $8 million in new athletic fields at Ralston Athletic Complex. The project includes a multi-purpose turf field that will be used for men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse and women’s field hockey. It also includes a new turf baseball field. Due to a leadership gift from Wilkes alumnus Robert Bruggeworth ’83, the new fields will be named Bruggeworth Field at Ralston Athletic Complex.
The project will transform the complex for student athletes and improve the fan experience. Enhancements also include two press boxes, two spectator areas and a scoreboard. In the future, new lighting, expanded parking and enhanced pedestrian walkways will be complete the multi-year initiative.
Wilkes President Patrick F. Leahy was joined by Wilkes Board of Trustees Chairman, Dan Cardell and Vice President of Student Affairs, Paul Adams, for remarks. Wilkes student Hunnter Maxwell, Forty-Fort, Pa., a member of the men’s soccer team, addressed the lasting impact of these enhancements.
Leahy said the project will enhance the competitiveness of the University’s NCAA Division III athletic programs while impacting the local community. It also helps accommodate a growing number of sports teams, student athletes and intramural programs.
“More than 500 student athletes play across our 23 athletic teams. With the addition of Bruggeworth Field, more teams can simultaneously compete and practice at Ralston Athletic Complex, centralizing athletic competitions on turf fields that can withstand changing weather conditions,” said Leahy. “This would not be possible without Bob Bruggeworth, whose generous support helps Wilkes University create one of the finest Division III athletic complexes in the northeast.”
In 2016, Wilkes invested nearly $1 million in new bleachers and spectator conveniences at Ralston Athletic Complex. The complex houses facilities for men’s and women’s tennis, women’s softball, men’s football and a variety of intramural sports. It is also home to Schmidt Stadium.
Bruggeworth, who majored in electrical engineering at Wilkes, is president and chief executive officer of Qorvo, a global communications chip maker headquartered in Greensboro, N.C. During his time at Wilkes, he played on the men’s soccer team as goalkeeper. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of business during the University’s spring commencement on May 18. He is establishing Bruggeworth Field in honor of his mother.
Construction is underway. It is anticipated that the completed Bruggeworth Field will be dedicated during Homecoming weekend, held Oct. 4 to 6.