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$4.5 million for new soccer facility

Stanley Smoyer '34 pledges gift in honor of Alden "Whitey" Burnham

Dartmouth's plan to build a new intercollegiate soccer facility for its nationally competitive men's and women's teams has received a significant boost from Stanley Smoyer '34. Smoyer has made a commitment of $4.5 million to name the new facility in honor of Alden "Whitey" Burnham, a coach and administrator at the College from 1960 to 1989. Smoyer's sons were soccer standouts on Burnham's teams in the 1960s.

The new soccer facility near Scully-Fahey field honors a beloved coach. (image courtesy of Dartmouth Planning, Design and Construction)

Located near Scully-Fahey Field on the eastern edge of campus, the facility will feature a top-quality natural-grass pitch, permanent spectator seating, a press box, field lighting, scoreboard and space for concessions and restrooms. The total cost is projected at $8 million, which includes an endowment to operate and maintain the facility.

"We're grateful for Stan's support of the College, particularly its athletics programs, which are an essential component of the Dartmouth experience," said President James Wright. "Stan's generous gift will provide an important resource for our students, and honor a coach and mentor who brought out the best in his players."

Smoyer lives in Princeton, N.J., with his wife, Marjorie. Active in the Princeton community, he is a generous Dartmouth benefactor and has supported the History Department's curriculum and programs, Tucker Foundation internships and athletics initiatives including Boss Tennis Center and Gordon Pavilion, Thompson Arena, Berry Sports Center and an endowment fund to bring recognition to athletes and their teams. President of Dartmouth's Alumni Council in 1975, Smoyer graduated Phi Beta Kappa with an AB in History and received a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1937. He worked in private practice until 1942, when he served in the legal division of the War Production Board. After World War II he was an officer of Johnson & Johnson.

Burnham, who also coached wrestling and lacrosse as Dartmouth's first three-sport coach, led the soccer team to its first Ivy League championship in 1964. Two of his players from that era were Smoyer's sons, David, class of 1963, and Bill, class of 1967. David was first team All-Ivy in 1961 and 1962 and a first team All-American goalie in 1962. He also captained the squash team and played number-one singles in tennis. Bill was first team All-Ivy in 1966 and the leading scorer on the 1964 championship team, as well as All-Ivy in hockey. After graduation he served in Vietnam as a Marine officer and was killed in action. Ivy League referee Arthur Williams, called him "the perfect athlete and gentleman."

Burnham moved from coaching to administration in 1969, when he was appointed Assistant Director of Athletics and later, Associate Director. He was inducted into Dartmouth's "Wearers of the Green" in 1989, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Springfield College Hall of Fame in 2001. An adopted member of the Class of 1946, he lives in Hanover with his wife, Joanne.

Athletics Director Josie Harper called Smoyer's gift "a huge momentum builder" for the soccer programs. "Stan's generosity will serve our student-athletes for years to come," Harper said. Dartmouth's men's and women's soccer teams have captured six Ivy League championships apiece, the men most recently in 2004 and 2002, the women in 2003, 2001 and 2000. Both make frequent appearances in the NCAA tournament and national polls.

Dartmouth has made significant improvements to its athletic facilities in the past six years with the addition of Scully-Fahey Field, Boss Tennis Center and Gordon Pavilion, Blackman Football Practice Fields and the McLane Family Skiway Lodge, along with substantial renovations to the golf course, squash facilities and Leverone Fieldhouse. The Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse and fields will be dedicated in September, and work will begin this spring to renovate Alumni Gymnasium. Improvements include new and larger spaces for fitness and recreation for the entire campus community, air quality upgrades to the Karl Michael Pool, better accessibility through a new entrance and elevator and upgraded coaches' offices.

Smoyer's commitment helps meet a priority in the College's Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience. With an ambitious $1.3 billion goal, Dartmouth is seeking investment in many initiatives across the institution-to advance leading-edge teaching and scholarship, enhance residential and campus life and honor its commitment to making education accessible-in the undergraduate college, its graduate programs in the arts and sciences and three professional schools of business, engineering and medicine.

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Last Updated: 12/17/08