Suffolk University, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and members of the East Boston community officially celebrated the University’s new East Boston Memorial Park on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at the athletics complex.
Suffolk University athletics teams, through a partnership with the city of Boston, will use the East Boston Memorial Park for home games, following a schedule that does not conflict with East Boston community use.
Suffolk baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s soccer teams will train and play home games at the park, sharing the facilities with East Boston High School and the East Boston community.
“It’s exciting to be here to show the partnership between Suffolk University and the Boston Public Schools, in particular, East Boston High School,” said Mayor Walsh. “It’s a win-win for everybody. You can’t do this without a partnership and a team approach. Suffolk really is the university in the heart of our city that’s engaged in so many different ways. This is the beginning of a long-standing relationship that we’re going to have here in the city of Boston.”
As a lifelong East Boston Resident, John Nucci, Suffolk’s senior vice president for external affairs, told the crowd that, for him, it was an “extra special” day.
“Mayor Walsh and Parks & Recreation Commissioner Christopher Cook could not have been more cooperative in making this partnership a reality,” said Nucci. “As a result, it’s a big day for Eastie, a big day for Suffolk University, and a big day for students and residents alike.”
“This new partnership with the city of Boston is an exciting one,” said Suffolk University President Margaret McKenna. “With the support of Mayor Walsh and his team, Suffolk now will be able to provide opportunities for young people and athletes in East Boston, while at the same time providing the University with a wonderful and easily accessible home-field facility for our athletics program.”
Participating in the opening-day ceremony were East Boston High School Headmaster Phillip Brangiforte, East Boston High School Athletic Director Ryan Conway and Suffolk University Athletic Director Cary McConnell, along with elected officials, and student athletes, coaches, faculty, administrators, and alumni of Suffolk University and East Boston High School.
Also on hand was Suffolk freshman Brianna R. D’Amelio, an East Boston High School graduate and a recipient of the Annual Suffolk University East Boston Stadium Scholarship. Suffolk will provide two scholarships a year designated for East Boston residents as part of its partnership agreement.
In its 69-year-old history, Suffolk athletics has had a lot to cheer about with 13 Great Northeast Athletic Conference titles, 32 trips to the ECAC tournament, nine All-Americans and eight appearances in the NCAA tournament.
“But there is one thing that has been missing until this year and it’s a place to call home for out outdoor athletics teams,” said McConnell. “On behalf of Suffolk athletics, I want to extend our thanks and gratitude to everyone who worked so hard to make this dream come true. I look forward to seeing present and future All-Americans and championships on this field.”
“Today is another stepping-stone to enhance Suffolk Athletics,” said Adam Chick, a member of the men’s basketball team and president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. “It is with great excitement that we are now able to call this place home.
“Athletics is a big part of any university, and all of the student athletes here are grateful that Suffolk is helping to better ourselves on and off the field.”
The first annual Rams’ Fan Fest, which celebrates the visible beginning of a partnership with Suffolk University Athletics and the city of Boston, highlighted the day’s festivities at East Boston Memorial Park. Following the official opening ceremony, the women’s soccer team played on its new home turf against Lasell College, followed by the men’s soccer team hosting Mount Ida College.
As part of the agreement, Suffolk University will provide improvements to the East Boston Memorial Park including:
New electronic baseball and softball field scoreboards
Additional bleacher seating
Softball infield improvements
Two new batting cages
New training room equipment for East Boston High School and Suffolk University use
Funding for East Boston High School athletics programs
Two full Suffolk University scholarships designated for East Boston residents
Resources for staffing the East Boston Stadium from April to November for East Boston resident and general public use
Suffolk University, located in historic downtown Boston, with an international campus in Madrid, is a student-centered institution distinguished by excellence in education and scholarship. Suffolk University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 90 areas of study. Its mission is to empower graduates to be successful locally, regionally and globally.