Gannon names field after McConnell family


As Dennis McConnell stood outside the Gannon University athletic field Friday, he said the campus has changed a lot since he graduated in 1970.

And thanks to him, it’s going to evolve even more.

Gannon University officials announced Friday that the Gannon athletic field at 430 Sassafras St. will now be known as McConnell Family Stadium.

Gannon Athletic Director Lisa Goddard McGuirk said the naming of the stadium has been in the works for some time now and the donations from McConnell will be used to support various upgrades to the stadium, although she was unable to give any detail about the plans.

Along with upgrades at the stadium, McConnell’ s gift to the university will support a capital construction fund for various projects, including the modernization of the Hammermill Center.

McConnell, 67, attributes much of his professional success to his parents, Harry and Beth McConnell, and wanted to honor them for their hard work and dedication to him.

McConnell said it all started when he just wanted a place for his parents’ artwork to be exhibited on campus, and that led to the naming of the athletic field.

“I was able to give more to the school – so it’s a tribute to my parents,” McConnell said.

McConnell, a private investor living near San Diego, graduated in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He is the founder of Bell Hill International, a venture capital company for early-stage biotech and health care companies, and held several positions at Amgen Inc., a Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based company.

The newly named McConnell Family Stadium, which opened in 2001 and seats up to 2,500 spectators, is home to Gannon’s baseball, football, lacrosse, soccer and softball teams.

Read Wednesday’s edition of The Gannon Knight for more.

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