Vassar Today

Prentiss Field Complex Dedication

By Mally Anderson ’10

Student and alumnae/i athletes alike welcomed the dedication of the new Prentiss Field on Saturday, September 20, as part of Vassar Inspiration and Education Weekend. The $8.6 million project, which took more than a year to complete, was made possible by donations and fundraising efforts involving alumnae/i and their families. The complex now includes new soccer fields, an eight-lane, quarter-mile lighted track with a pure grass turf field in its infield, and a refurbished baseball diamond. All the fields have new press boxes, scoreboards, and bleachers. 

Two earlier stages of construction included the creation of a new field for field hockey (located across the street from Prentiss) and the J. L. Weinberg Field Sports Pavilion, which houses locker rooms and training facilities. The entire project has been in the works since 1994 and was managed by men’s soccer coach and former athletic director Andy Jennings. Many of his former players presented Jennings with a bench, overlooking the competition soccer field, that features a plaque honoring Jennings’s commitment to Vassar athletics.

College officials undertook the Prentiss Field project in order to enhance the college’s Division III athletic programs, which are part of the Liberty League. Vassar now has some of the finest athletic facilities in the league, an advantage that the college hopes will attract prospective student-
athletes. The college’s intramural teams will also use the fields.

Dedication attendees agreed that the new fields are impressive. President Catharine Hill described them as “beautiful” and “spectacular” when she spoke at the dedication. She emphasized the college’s gratitude to the donors who supported the project. Sharon Beverly, Vassar’s director of athletics and physical education, said it was “a proud day for our faculty, coaches, administrators, and staff members.”

The baseball team has benefited greatly from its new field, which now features dugouts given by alumna Anne Youngclaus Stratton ’64 and a fence in addition to the other amenities. For the soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey teams, the turf fields have already led to improvements. The teams can now play in inclement weather, which was impossible before. The upgrade also helps Vassar teams prepare for away games at other colleges, most of which already play on turf fields.

“We’re very lucky to play on a field like this and very grateful to the alumnae/i who came back,” said soccer player Danny Kadishson ’09. “It shows how the alumnae/i really love this school, that they would do something like this for us.”