In addition to the social and recreational opportunities offered by non-universityentities in town, UC Merced is planning on-campus facilities and programs to enhance the lives of students. As the first of these, the university plans to create an NCAA-regulation-sized soccer playing field where students will be able to participate in a wide variety of outdoor field sports such as soccer, softball and football. A fundraising campaign is underway to finance the field, since it is a non-academic facility and therefore not eligible for state funding.
University officials hope to have this field complete by the time the campus opens in the fall of 2005, especially since the planned Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center will not be ready for use at that time. It will be able to serve not only for athletic events, but also for outdoor fairs and social gatherings.
Given our emphasis on wellness and healthy life styles, it's appropriate that the initial recreational facility for our first class of students will take them outdoors, said Jane Lawrence, vice chancellor for student affairs at UC Merced. The multi-purpose field will encourage students to engage in a range of sports and physical activities while also allowing them to take in the natural beauty surrounding the campus.
In-kind donations of materials and services as well as cash contributions in any amount are currently being solicited to build the field. Opportunities exist to name the field and the scoreboard. Anyone interested in helping to build the recreational field should contact Jan Mendenhall, Director of Development and University Relations, at (209) 724-4407