NCAA News Archive - 2008

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Student-athletes’ parents give MIT boost

Construction crews are preparing the surface of MIT’s Steinbrenner Stadium for installation of a synthetic turf field funded by a $2 million donation from the parents of a soccer student-athlete at the school. (Photo courtesy MIT/Patrick Gillooly)
Jul 3, 2008 2:05:00 AM

The NCAA News

The parents of a current MIT soccer student-athlete are donating $2 million for the installation of a synthetic grass turf at the school’s primary outdoor multisport athletics venue.

Bob and Eveline Roberts’ gift to resurface the field in Henry G. Steinbrenner Stadium will directly benefit MIT’s men’s and women’s soccer teams and also its men’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s track and field programs.

“This is a transformational gift that benefits the entire MIT community,” said Julie Soriero, director of athletics and head of the department of athletics, physical education and recreation at MIT, which with 41 sports sponsors more varsity programs than any other Division III institution.

“We are truly grateful and excited about seeing this project completed for our teams competing in the fall of 2008.”

The Roberts are the parents of soccer midfielder Julia Roberts, who will be a junior this coming season.

School officials hope the gift will spark other improvements for Steinbrenner Stadium -- which was funded with a gift in the late 1970s by New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and his two sisters to honor their father, a national-champion hurdler at the school -- and also help in further developing the Vassar Street area east of Massachusetts Avenue on MIT’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus.

“This much-needed upgrade is an important institutional priority, but we could not have begun to take action without the Roberts’ thoughtful generosity,” said MIT President Susan Hockfield. “Simply put, this gift will transform our campus and community, and will inspire our alumni and friends to help us provide our exceptional students with resources that are commensurate with their potential as future leaders.”

MIT hopes the gift will spark the next phase of the stadium’s renovation, which includes lighting, seating and a new press box.

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