William Paterson University in Wayne held a groundbreaking ceremony last week to celebrate the beginning of construction on an addition and renovation of its athletics fieldhouse.
During the event, the university announced a $250,000 lead donation from Stephen Adzima, Class of 1975, a former Pioneer football player and member of the William Paterson Alumni Association Athletic Hall of Fame, to the Pioneering Champions Campaign, which seeks to raise $1.5 million in support of the project.
In recognition of the donation, William Paterson will name the Stephen Adzima Strength and Conditioning Center, to be located in the fieldhouse, in his honor. The gift establishes an endowed fund for ongoing support of the fieldhouse.
The event served as the public launch of the Pioneering Champions Campaign, which has been kicked off with a video by WP alumnus Kevin Burkhardt, Class of 1997, studio host and play-by-play announcer for Major League Baseball and the NFL on Fox Sports.
“Thank you, Steve, for leading the $1.5 million fieldhouse campaign by making this generous commitment to your alma mater,” President Richard Helldobler said. “Intercollegiate athletics is an integral part of the William Paterson mission to provide our students with a quality, comprehensive campus educational experience. … The fieldhouse project will be a key upgrade, providing our hard-working and dedicated student-athletes with more modern, state-of-the-art facilities, which will support better training and better practice and gameday experiences, and, hopefully, more winning seasons. Not to mention more student-athletes getting those life-changing degrees that transform their lives, and those of their families and communities.”
“I am pumped. I have vivid memories of playing on this field and of my teammates,” Adzima said, noting that, when he played on the university’s first football team 50 years ago, there were no such facilities on campus. “We need an even playing field for our student-athletes and this is a first step toward making that happen.”
The project, slated for completion in August 2024, includes a 4,000-square-foot addition to its existing athletic fieldhouse facility. It will include a student-athlete-specific fitness center, featuring strength training and cardio areas, with roll-up glass garage doors facing Wightman Stadium. It will also feature an expanded athletic training facility; individual locker rooms for field hockey, softball and women’s soccer; and a renovation of the existing football and baseball locker rooms.
William Paterson fields 13 NCAA Division III intercollegiate teams and currently has 300 student-athletes.