The Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation Commit to Lead Baseball Performance Center Building Project
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Razorback Athletics and the Razorback Foundation announced the Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation has pledged $5 million in support of the Baseball Performance Center at Baum Stadium.
“My family has been committed to Razorback student-athletes for decades,” said Johnny Mike Walker. “As a fan watching from the stands, and as a former student-athlete, I have countless memories in Baum Stadium. As a family and as a Foundation, we are committed to helping improve the Razorback student-athlete experience.”
The Baseball Performance Center (BPC), an approximately 40,000+ square foot baseball clubhouse facility will provide student-athletes with a state-of-the-art locker room, team room, weight room, training room, meeting rooms, nutrition space, player and pitching development spaces and in-venue batting cages. The BPC will be constructed behind the right field corner of Baum Stadium, connecting it with the current west concourse and providing new premium viewing areas for games.
“Being able to join Razorback Nation in Omaha this past summer as the Razorbacks made their ninth appearance in the College World Series was an experience that I’ll never forget,” said Mandy Macke, executive director of the Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation. “As a former Diamond Doll and lifelong Razorback, I am honored to play a role in helping with the leadership gift for the new Baseball Performance Center.”
“As we continue to foster our mission of Building Champions and Razorbacks for Life, we must ensure Coach Dave Van Horn and his staff have the resources necessary to recruit and develop the most talented baseball student-athletes in the country,” said Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek. “This new Baseball Performance Center is another tool that will be integral in our pursuit of College World Series Championships. We appreciate the Willard & Pat Walker Foundation for providing the lead gift to enable us to move forward with this important investment into the success of our baseball program.”
“All Razorback fans take great pride in Baum Stadium being recognized by Baseball America as the best college ballpark in the nation and in the Fowler Family Baseball and Track Training Center. The Baseball Performance Center is essential for the future of Razorback Baseball given its focus on the development of our student-athletes,” said Scott Varady, executive director of the Razorback Foundation.
The total project cost of the Baseball Performance Center is currently estimated to be $20-25 million. Fans interested in supporting the Baseball Performance Center are encouraged to contact the Razorback Foundation at (479) 443-9000 or [email protected].
About Razorback Athletics
A Division I member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the University of Arkansas’ Department of Intercollegiate Athletics annually ranks as one of the nation’s most successful athletics programs. The University of Arkansas sponsors a total of 19 varsity sport programs, including 8 men’s and 11 women’s sports. Featuring one of the most unique nicknames in intercollegiate athletics and a passionate fan following, the Arkansas Razorbacks compete in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Razorback Athletics annually meets the needs of more than 465 student-athletes enabling them to succeed in athletic competition, in the classroom and in the community.
About the Razorback Foundation
The mission of The Razorback Foundation, Inc., is to support the athletic endeavors of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. The Foundation assists Razorback student-athletes by providing financial support for scholarships, facilities and various programs that enable them to realize their dreams of achieving a quality college education while participating in athletics on a nationally competitive level. Razorback Athletics is one of a handful of NCAA Division I Athletic Departments in the nation that is financially self-sustaining and requires no UA student fees revenue or taxpayer support.
BY Kevin Trainor