KINGS POINT, N.Y., January 4, 2017 - Today, the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) announced that it received a $4 million gift through the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation (AAF) for major renovations to Lower Roosevelt Field. The project will create a state-of-the-art sports complex at the Academy not only for the baseball field, but soccer and lacrosse surfaces as well.
“Through the generosity of the USMMA AAF and their donors, especially Dean White (’45) and Ray Bartoszek (’86),” said Rear Admiral James A. Helis, Superintendent, “we will be able to make transformational upgrades to Lower Roosevelt Field and provide a first class recreational facility for the entire USMMA community that will be a highly visible sign of cooperation between the AAF and the Academy.”
The plan will include a new full turf field, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, and dugouts. This will vastly expand the available grounds for all Midshipmen, athletic teams, clubs, the Regiment and the Regimental Band, and eliminate the excessive need for early morning and/or late night practices. Overall, Midshipmen’s schedules will improve, allowing more time to focus on academics and Regimental requirements.
Three quarters of the funding for this gift was provided by two USMMA alumni, Dean White and Ray Bartoszek. Sadly, Dean White passed away at the age of 93 on Sept. 14, 2016.
“The family of Dean White is very pleased to be such a big part of the Lower Roosevelt Field project,” said the family. “Dean was so proud to be a Kings Pointer and it is great to see his gift will be used to benefit so many Midshipmen. This project is one that will make all Kings Pointers and all supporters of the Academy very proud.
Ray Bartoszek, a former Mariner baseball player, made one of the largest donations in alumni history in 2016 to help fund this project, in particular, the baseball field. “To be able to give back to the school that has given me and my family so much is a true privilege,” said Bartoszek. “Kings Point creates leaders and our new state of the art athletic complex will allow Midshipmen to lead on the field during their years at the Academy.”
This project is in its initial design phase with artist renderings coming in the near future, once details are finalized. The AAF and Athletic Department will provide updates through its websites, social media, and announcements. There will be a formal groundbreaking ceremony with officials from the AAF, USMMA and the Athletic Department.