The official turf field groundbreaking and the 2012 baseball team ceremonies highlighted Homecoming Saturday for the Wheaton College Department of Athletics.
The turf field, which will officially be named the Diane C. Nordin '80 Turf Field thanks to her lead gift to the project, is set to be completed by fall 2013 and will be utilized by the varsity field hockey and men's and women's lacrosse programs, club sports and intramurals teams, as well as many others.
Saturday's ceremony celebrated the construction start of the college's new turf field. Balloons marked the way to the ceremony, where Nordin, President Ronald Crutcher, Wheaton Board of Trustees members and distinguished alumnae/i, administrators, donors and student-athletes took shovels in hand to symbolically launch the project.
The ceremony was followed by a reception at the Neilson Classroom inside Haas.
In addition to the official groundbreaking, athletics honored the 2012 baseball team whose season culminated in a national championship game appearance, its second in seven years. The Lyons were recognized at halftime of the men's soccer game against New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) rival Babson College at Keefe Field in which they lost 5-3.
Finishing the season ranked second nationally in a pair of year-end polls, Wheaton baseball boasted a 41-11 overall record and a 16-2 mark in the NEWMAC. Advancing to the NCAA College World Series for the first time since 2006 while making its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in 13 seasons, the Lyons also earned its 13th regular season league championship and 12th conference tournament title in the NEWMAC's 14-year history.
Field hockey was the other varsity home team in action on Saturday, taking on nationally-ranked Skidmore College. The Lyons dropped a 7-2 decision to the Thoroughbreds in a non-conference match at Faxon Field.
To learn more about the Diane C. Nordin '80 Turf Field visit http://wheatoncollege.edu/giving/turf-field/.