ELON, N.C. – Elon University announced yesterday that BB&T Corporation, one of the largest financial services holding companies in the nation, has made a $500,000 gift to complete fundraising for Hunt Softball Park, which opens on campus in January. In recognition of the gift, Elon trustees have approved the naming of BB&T Field.
“The generous support of BB&T will allow us to finish the work on one of the nation’s finest NCAA Division I softball facilities,” said Elon University President Leo M. Lambert. “Hunt Softball Park, including BB&T Field, will position Elon student-athletes to achieve higher levels of excellence in competition. We are pleased to make this important investment in support of our softball program, providing another outstanding facility in Elon’s North Athletics Complex.”
“As part of our mission, BB&T strives to make the communities in which we work better places to live and we are proud to support Elon University,” said BB&T City Executive Bill Gomory. “We are confident this facility will help Elon student-athletes in their efforts to achieve success.”
BB&T Field features natural turf outfield, a synthetic turf infield apron and a high-tech clay infield with optimal drainage, allowing games to be played within minutes of a rainstorm. This is the same system in place at Elon’s Latham Park for baseball.
Phase I of Hunt Softball Park is scheduled for completion Jan. 1, with the first games scheduled in February. The park includes brick grandstands with seating for 311 fans and a spacious press box; concourse and concessions area; two batting cages and a bullpen on the home side; and a batting cage and bullpen on the visitors side.
Work will begin soon on a second phase of the project, providing a field house that will include a locker room, team lounge, coaches’ offices and training facilities.
Elon’s successful softball program captured its first Southern Conference Tournament Championship in 2010 along with its first NCAA tournament bid. That title was the first for an Elon women’s athletics team in the Southern Conference.
Hunt Softball Park is named for Vicky and Sam Hunt of Burlington, N.C., who gave lead gifts of more than $1.25 million for the project. Vicky Hunt is an Elon trustee and Sam is a local business leader and a softball fan.
“Elon is first class in every respect and this new facility fills a need on campus,” said Sam Hunt. “This is just another step forward for Elon and we are proud to be able to help. I look forward to attending games and watching the action.”
“When you scan the names of alumni, parents and friends who have named facilities in our athletics complex, you get a great sense of the commitment our community has for Elon,” said Director of Athletics Dave Blank. “We would not be where we are today on this project without Sam and Vicky Hunt, and to have BB&T join our efforts is an honor.”