Behind a record-setting $1.5 million gift from Lois Morgan ’54, Millersville University Athletics has announced the start of a campaign to raise funds for a three-phase renovation to Biemesderfer Stadium.
Morgan’s gift—the largest single gift in the history of Millersville Athletics—puts the campaign over halfway to its initial $2.5 million goal. The first step in the renovation plan is to overhaul and expand the locker rooms and athletic training rooms at the stadium built in 1968. The following phases to the plan include installing a video scoreboard, replacing the existing scoreboard from 2003, and a new press box.
Millersville University will be contracting an architectural firm to create plans and renderings of locker room and athletic training spaces. The project is part of the University’s facility master plan, and the fundraising effort is one area of focus of the ongoing Imagine the Possible campaign, which has raised more than $7 million for Marauder Athletics since July 2017. This priority area is inclusive of scholarships, program support and facilities with the goal of providing student-athletes with a championship experience.
“Lois Morgan’s gift captures the spirit of the Imagine the Possible Campaign,” said Dr. Daniel A. Wubah, president of Millersville University. “She’s following through on a vision that will make a material and lasting difference in the lives of our student athletes. We are very grateful for her friendship and support.”
Morgan’s gift was crucial in starting the stadium renovation campaign, as the entire project will be privately funded.
“We are so fortunate to have a supporter like Lois, and we are thankful that she sees the vision for our stadium renovation plan and trusts the University to be stewards of her gift,” said Millersville director of athletics Miles Gallagher. “She believes in a championship student-athlete experience and creating a modern locker room space is an important part of that. This is a huge first step toward our goal, but we need others to rally together to make it a reality.”
Morgan has been a significant supporter of Millersville Athletics. In 2018, she established The Morgan Scholarship Fund for Women’s Athletics with a gift of $500,000, and in August of 2020, with the department feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Morgan established an additional $500,000 scholarship fund to help offset funds lost from a lack of camps, facility rentals and ticketing.
“I saw the locker rooms when I visited the field hockey team, and I thought ‘this isn’t what I picture a locker room to be,’” said Morgan. “It was time to do something. This opportunity provided that. Millersville is a growing university that provides many avenues to careers and services. It is necessary to keep those facilities up to date so the students, parents and community at large can be proud of the efforts Millersville is making to be a fine university. Recruiting is always important when it comes to college athletics. I’m excited about it, and it will be a great thing for the student-athletes.”
Currently, the football, field hockey, lacrosse, cross country and track and field teams utilize the stadium, and the nearly 200 athletes in those sports have outgrown the space that was not designed for the 21st century student-athlete. Additionally, as Millersville’s athletic training staff has grown, a facility capable of meeting the needs of the student-athletes has become necessary.
While Morgan’s gift jump-started the stadium renovation campaign, the University must raise an additional $1 million to make the project’s initial phase of new locker rooms a reality. For alumni and supporters, there are various opportunities to become involved in the project, such as the naming of team locker rooms and, later this year, the ability to name single lockers. Those interested in supporting the campaign can contact Millersville’s Office of Development at email@example.com, or 717-871-7520.
“Please, if you are proud of Millersville, put in what you can,” encouraged Morgan. “It doesn’t have to be $1,000. Every bit counts. It would be great to say that everybody helped. I would encourage everyone to be involved.”
WHAT MILLERSVILLE’S COACHES ARE SAYING
“This locker room renovation project will be great for our student-athletes. One of the great things about coaching at Millersville is witnessing our University’s continued commitment to improving our athletic facilities. This project represents another step in providing our student-athletes a first-class experience. What a great time to be a Marauder!” – J.C. Morgan, Football
“Lois’ gift is an incredible act of stewardship and selflessness. To believe in our athletics department and in our teams at the stadium, to want to invest in our programs and our student-athletes, is a testament to her generosity and support. It takes such great vision of possibility to attain new levels of experience, and that is what this amazing gift will mean for our student-athletes.” – Shelly Behrens, Field Hockey
“We are so excited by the improvement to the locker room and athletic training facilities. Those facilities are awkward at best right now and don’t function very well for our team. Reconfiguring the building will allow much easier access to our athletic trainers and allow for a safe space for athletes to go to get ready for practice as well as provide a welcoming space to study between practices and classes as well as convenient place to store gear and equipment, along with having a potential fueling station.” – Andy Young, Cross Country and Track and Field
“The renovated locker rooms will provide a space for our team to be together off the field. Locker room culture is very important in providing a championship experience for our student athletes.” – Cindy Wilson, Lacrosse