Stadium Chairs and Bleacher Benches Still Available
November 21, 2011

Be one of a limited number of donors recognized for providing seating in the Richard L. Jantz stadium, which was dedicated at Southwestern's Homecoming October 2, 2010. Chairs and Bleacher Benches are still available.

Your contribution of $1000 (payable over one to five years) allows you to gift a seat in your name, or in honor of someone else. Your name will also be included in a permanent display of donors. The seating project is truly putting our BUILDER name to the test, and with your great support, we WILL rise to the occasion.

Helmer Family Track to be Dedicated April 30
April 12, 2011

The Helmer Family Track inside Richard L. Jantz Stadium on the campus of Southwestern College will be dedicated Saturday, April 30, at 4 p.m.

A meet-and-greet reception is planned for Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m. on the Farney Family Plaza located on the south end of Richard L. Jantz Stadium. A tour of the new facilities also will be given. Community members and friends of the program are invited to attend.

The historic legacy built by Jim Helmer, a 1971 graduate of Southwestern College, is nothing short of extraordinary and spans generations of graduates at Southwestern College. Since he joined the faculty, Helmer has coached 31 consecutive conference champion cross-country teams (1980-2010) and his men's track and field squads have won every conference championship since 1983.

In 2001, Helmer was inducted into the NAIA Cross Country Hall of Fame in the category of coach. Only nine other coaches have been awarded this honor in cross-country since 1956.

"Southwestern College and the athletic department are extremely grateful to Coach Jim Helmer and his family for the sustained dedication and unceasing efforts that have been in place for the past 41 years," says Dave Denly, Southwestern College athletic director. "The success that has been achieved has been nothing short of remarkable. The dedication of the Helmer Family Track on April 30 is a way to permanently place Jim and his family in the storied history of Southwestern College. Coach Helmer is a great example of what hard work, a love for educating student-athletes, and bringing the sports of cross-country and track and field into the lives of countless people over the course of time. His everlasting mark is in the hearts and souls of those that have competed with him and for him throughout his time at SC. I am very privileged to have the opportunity to work with Coach Helmer and am looking forward to many more years of sustained success."

The Southwestern College Relays will also take place on April 30. This will mark the 50th anniversary of the Southwestern College Relays.

Richard L. Jantz Stadium to be Officially Dedicated
September 30, 2010

Southwestern College will officially dedicate Richard L. Jantz Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 12:50 p.m. during the Homecoming 2010 festivities. The dedication will precede the Southwestern-Ottawa football game scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Planning for the construction of the new stadium began well over a year ago. With approval from the college’s board of trustees, the project began in late January of this year. The stadium was ready for the Moundbuilders first home football game on Sept. 4.

Richard L. Jantz Stadium includes a state-of-the-art Field Turf playing surface, a new running track, home grandstand seating for 3,000 fans, visitors’ seating for over 600 guests, a large and well equipped press box, a restroom complex, a new concession stand, improved locker room and shower facilities for football, and a large plaza for pre and post-game gatherings and tailgating. The total cost of the project is $4.2 million.

Many contributors to the stadium project will be at the dedication and will be announced. Among those to be recognized on Saturday include Richard Jantz, Jim Farney and family, members of Beta Rho Mu, Winfield Superintendant Marvin Estes and the school board members for USD 465, and the Winfield City Commissioners.

Southwestern College is a private institution granting undergraduate and graduate degrees and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. More than 1,900 students attend classes at the main Winfield campus, at five professional studies sites in Kansas and Oklahoma, or online around the world.

Peek Behind the Fence: See Construction Progress
March 11, 2010

Peek Behind the Fence Graphic

You can now see the progress being made on the construction of the Jantz Stadium by visiting the Peek Behind the Fence page. This page includes photo galleries which will be updated monthly, as well as a live, real-time webcam. Check back often to see all of the dramatic changes to the campus landscape!

SC Fund Drive Gets Big Boost from Mabee Foundation
January 22, 2010

Two big facilities projects at Southwestern College – construction of a new stadium and renovation of the college’s main auditorium to create a performing arts center – got a big boost with notification last week that the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation has issued a challenge grant for $959,000 to the college.   The foundation is headquartered in Tulsa, Okla.

Under the terms of the challenge grant, Southwestern College has one year to secure pledges for 80% of the roughly $4.8 million needed for the two projects.  If the college’s fund drive meets this goal, the Mabee Foundation will provide the final 20% needed to complete project funding.  

“The math is pretty simple,” said college president Dick Merriman.  “We currently have cash and pledges totaling $2.6 million for the two projects.  We need additional commitments of $1.3 million to reach the 80% mark and claim the challenge grant from the Mabee Foundation to complete funding for the projects.” 

The college is accepting pledges payable over three to five years for the projects. 

“We don’t need to have cash in hand to meet the Mabee Foundation challenge,” Merriman noted, “just firm pledge commitments from individuals and organizations.” 

The Mabee Foundation assists religious, charitable, and educational organizations in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.  Recent Mabee Foundation grants to Southwestern College have supported the construction of the Beech Science Center and Mabee Laboratories, and the renovation of Mossman Hall.   

 “We’re most grateful to the Mabee Foundation for this latest challenge grant and for all they have done, down through the years, to help the college,” Merriman stated. “Their grants, and the gifts they motivate through their challenges, have changed the face of Southwestern in very positive ways.”

The college’s new stadium, to be named for leadership donor Richard L. Jantz, will have a synthetic turf playing surface for football and soccer and a new eight-lane oval for track events.  ADA-compliant home grandstand seating for 3,000 and visitor seating of 600 will be built.  The stadium will include a press box complex providing accommodations for coaches, broadcasters, and game administrators.  Restrooms and a concession stand facility will be built at the south end of the stadium.  The facility will host athletic contests for Southwestern College and Winfield High School, Commencement exercises for both schools, and other community events.

The second performance venue slated for improvement with campaign funds is the auditorium in the Christy Administration Building which will be renovated to create an up-to-date performing arts center.   The goal of the renovation, said Merriman, is to create a beautiful and well-equipped performing arts center that will properly support teaching, rehearsal, and performances, along with major lectures and convocations.  The renovation will include a box office, ADA-compliant seating, new seats, production and technical areas in the rear of the hall, a reconfigured hall to improve acoustics, and significant improvements for staging and production of concerts, plays, and lectures.

“We have the opportunity, now, to dramatically improve two facilities that are crucial for the quality of life in Winfield.  We have 12 months to reach our goal, and we’ll need help from everyone who loves Winfield and loves Southwestern,” concluded Merriman.

Special Getaway Auctions to Benefit the Stadium Initiative

Stadium Groundbreaking Ceremony

We are excited to announce the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Richard L. Jantz Stadium will take place during the halftime of the SC football game vs. Tabor on Saturday, November 7, 2009 (kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.). We hope many Builders will come join us for this important step in the Stadium Initiative!

SC Unveils ‘Great Performances’ Campaign

At the college’s Homecoming dinner Friday, October 16, Southwestern College publicly unveiled its “Great Performances” capital campaign and announced plans to build Richard L. Jantz Stadium, a new athletic home for the Southwestern Moundbuilders and Winfield High School Vikings. President Dick Merriman made the announcement to a large gathering of alumni and friends in Stewart Field House.

The Great Performances campaign began on July 1, 2008, and has focused, to date, on securing leadership commitments for the stadium project, for renovation of the college’s Richardson Auditorium to create a new performing arts center, and for the college’s endowment and program budgets. Merriman announced that commitments for the campaign total almost $8 million. The goal for the campaign, which will end on June 30, 2012, is $25 million in current and deferred gift commitments.

The college announced that construction of the new stadium on campus will begin in early 2010, with the goal of having the stadium ready for competition for the fall 2010 football and soccer season. The stadium will be named for Richard L. Jantz, a 1970 graduate of Southwestern. Jantz resides in Lawrence, Kan., and is owner of Millard Management, a crop insurance company serving farmers across the region. Jantz is a former member of the college’s Board of Trustees.

“We’re very grateful for Rich’s leadership in the stadium fund drive,” said Merriman. “He not only made the lead gift for this project, he has been instrumental in building enthusiasm for the project and attracting other donors. It’s a pleasure to recognize his leadership and generosity.”

Merriman emphasized at the dinner that the college has not completed its fund-raising campaign for the stadium. “We have a lot of work left to do,” he said, “but we think that showing progress on the project, and showcasing the college and community leaders who have moved us forward, will motivate others to get involved and help us wrap this up. The college’s alumni and friends have responded well. These pledges, combined with the $1 million commitment from the Winfield Public Schools, will allow us to begin construction of the stadium in early 2010 season. The new stadium should be ready and waiting for the fall 2010 football season.”

Superintendent of Winfield Public Schools, Marvin Estes, said, “Southwestern College and the Winfield Public Schools have a long history of collaboration and partnering which has expanded opportunities for students and faculty in both organizations. The Great Performances Campaign will continue that effort offering students and teachers, patrons, and the citizens of Winfield quality venues for learning, instructing, and enjoying sporting events, school and community events, and fine arts performances. Although the Winfield Public Schools has committed public funds to the campaign, that contribution is only a fraction of the total amount needed. The scope and completion of the project will depend on the continued support and generous contributions from alumni, friends and those of us who will benefit most…the citizens of the Winfield area.”

A ceremonial groundbreaking for the new stadium will take place at halftime of the college’s final game in Sonner Stadium, against Tabor College, on Saturday, November 7. The ceremony will involve donors and leaders from the college, the community, and Winfield Public Schools.

The other performance venue slated for improvement with campaign funds is the auditorium in the Christy Administration Building. The college is seeking gifts totaling a little over $2 million to fund a complete renovation of the facility. The goal of the renovation, said Merriman, is to create a beautiful and well-equipped performing arts center that will properly support teaching, rehearsal, and performances, along with major lectures and convocations. No commencement date for construction has been set and fund-raising efforts are on-going, Merriman said.

At the Friday dinner the college announced the national co-chairs of the Great Performances campaign. They are Richard Jantz, Dr. James Farney, Southwestern College class of 1953 of Vero Beach, Fla.; Madeline Norland, Southwestern College class of 1983 and Kenneth Norland, of Winfield. Many other alumni and friends of the college are serving as volunteers in the athletic and performance arts facets of the campaign.

Southwestern College is a private institution granting undergraduate and graduate degrees and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. More than 1,900 students attend classes at the main Winfield campus, at six professional studies sites, or online around the world.

Several important commitments have been made for the stadium project:

    • The Winfield Public Schools will be providing $1 million in support for the project, paid
      over a ten-year period.
    • Rich Jantz, a graduate of Southwestern College has pledged $1 million for the project.
    • Southwestern College graduate John Nichols has pledged $50,000 for the project.

Great Performances Campaign Peek Behind the Fence:  Construction Gallery