DEFIANCE, Ohio – Defiance College took another step towards realizing a long-awaited dream of an on-campus field house on Friday, as it highlighted the 2011 Homecoming by dedicating the 85,250-square foot facility. As part of the festivities, the building was officially named the George M. Smart Athletic Center.
Smart graduated from Defiance College in 1967 and currently serves on its board of trustees, while also sitting as the chairman of the capital campaign that raised over four million dollars for the new field house.
"One of the first things I heard about when I came to Defiance was the proposed field house for the college," said DC President Mark C. Gordon during Friday evening's ceremony. "We are now just a short time away from opening our new George M. Smart Athletic Center. The construction of this facility is ultimately thanks to all who donated to the project and especially to those true heroes of the project, who are George Smart, Dick Small, Randy Buchman and Duane Hocking."
The new athletic center is 40-feet high at its peak and includes a 200-meter indoor track. The facility will feature a multi-purpose floor to accommodate multiple tennis, volleyball and basketball courts, while also including locker room areas, offices and the relocated fitness center, which will continue to be a dual partnership with the Defiance Area Y.
While the building will bear George Smart's name, several other parts of the field house will be named to honor individuals who have also made a considerable impact on DC and its students.
The track will be named the Richard M. and Carolyn M. Small Track, while the fitness center will be called the Randall L. and Marilyn A. Buchman Fitness Center and the student training room will be named the Duane C. Hocking Training Room.
Smart capped the ceremony by saying, "I believe this athletic center will be very important to the College's future. It will be a terrific facility for all student athletes to use, including athletic teams, intramural teams and individuals."