University of Texas at Austin students are now able to enjoy club and intramural sports on a newly renovated Clark Field, thanks to a plan created by and leadership commitments from two Houston families with strong ties to the university.
Former chairman of the University of Texas System Board of Regents and university alumni H. Scott Caven Jr. and his wife Vivien made the first significant gift to launch the renovation of Clark Field. Their desire to upgrade the field, make it accessible to more students and redevelop it to accommodate lacrosse club sports was done in memory of their son, Scotty Caven, a Plan II Honors student whose athletic passion was lacrosse, and in honor of the many Caven family members who have been involved with the university for more than 90 years. In recognition of the Cavens' dedication and leadership, along with their steadfast support for the game of lacrosse, Clark Field has been renamed the Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center at Clark Field.
"This day is special for my family and me as we help create a permanent home for men's and women's lacrosse. I am honored that through the generosity of many contributors, UT students will enjoy the wonderful experiences that many of us alumni had, participating in a variety of sports on this historic field in the heart of campus," Caven said.
The other major commitment to the Clark Field renovation came from university alumni Gary and Sylvie Crum, who have long provided generous financial support of women's athletics, the McCombs School of Business, the Division of Recreational Sports and the Texas Exes, among other schools and divisions at the university. The Crums' daughter, Clayton, is a co-captain of the women's lacrosse team.
"The extraordinary vision and generosity demonstrated by the Cavens and Crums allowed this project to move forward quickly," said President Bill Powers. "Thanks to them and other generous supporters, our students will be able to enjoy a first-class lacrosse and sports facility for years to come."
The $4 million Clark Field renovation was made possible through $3 million in private gifts and $1 million from the Division of Recreational Sports. Construction began July 18. Fundraising efforts are continuing as the project nears completion. Located west of San Jacinto Boulevard and south of East 21st Street, the renovated field will feature a synthetic turf playing surface, a refurbished track, new exercise stations and a new pedestrian bridge across Waller Creek.
In addition to serving as a championship-quality lacrosse venue for the men's and women's lacrosse clubs, the facility will continue to serve the dedicated cadre of students who enjoy jogging, walking and working out in this great outdoor space. As the last green space on campus, the Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center at Clark Field will provide students new recreational opportunities in an enriched outdoor setting.
The upgraded facility was dedicated on Friday, Nov. 18, at a grand opening hosted by President Bill Powers. Immediately following the formal dedication ceremony, the men's and women's lacrosse clubs held a brief intrasquad scrimmage.