Dale Halton continued her generosity towards UNC Charlotte and the Charlotte 49ers athletic department with her donation to name Halton Field House at the 49ers 15,000-seat, on-campus football stadium, 49ers Director of Athletics Judy Rose announced, today.
"For many years I have known that football would be a reality here at UNC Charlotte and now we are a little over a year until our first game," Halton said. "For these many years I have known that I would contribute financially to the program. It is with great pleasure that I make this gift and I am hopeful that others will join me in making our return to Conference USA a wonderful success!"
The 46,150-square foot Halton Field House, due for completion in August, will be the home of the Charlotte 49ers football program, complete with locker rooms, coaches' offices, an academic center, a tiered classroom, a training suite, a strength training suite, conference rooms, a hospitality deck and a players' lounge.
"Dale's was the first call I received after the Trustees and the Chancellor voted to add football," Rose said. "I was in the Indianapolis airport when she pledged her support and she was quick to back that pledge with financial support through the purchase of FSLs. Fast forward to the press conference when we announced that we would be returning to Conference USA: Dale was on the front row, again, showing her support. When she listened to the remarks of what the move will mean for our athletic program, she understood the costs associated. Again, she stepped up to help make us competitive in the league. Dale is not an alum but she is as passionate about this university as anyone that ever walked across the stage. She understands how important this university is to the region we live in. We are Charlotte's only Division I institution and now we are the only one that will be playing FBS football."
With her philanthropic donations, Halton has placed an indelible stamp on the Charlotte 49ers athletic department. Previous major donations include capital support for Dale F. Halton Arena, Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex and Miltimore-Wallis Athletic Training and Academic Center. Through those donations, Halton has touched each and every 49ers sports program by enhancing playing and practice venues, academic support services and strength and conditioning facilities.
Halton also has a well-documented history of giving to the university in areas of scholarship and facility development. In addition to her gifts towards the athletic department, Halton's name can be seen on the Dale Halton Reading Room in Atkins Library and a variety of scholarships, including The Halton Study Abroad Scholarship, The Dale F. Halton Women in Marketing Scholarship, the Re-entry Scholarship Fund and the Henry B. Fowler Men's Basketball Scholarship. Moreso, she is active in service towards the university. Halton has served on the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees, the UNC Charlotte Board of Visitors, the UNC Charlotte Foundation Board and the 49ers Athletic Foundation Board of the Directors. She received the UNC Charlotte Alumni by Choice Award in 1994 and in 1998 was the UNC Charlotte Honorary Degree recipient.
With her donation to name the Football Field House, Halton joins Hugh McColl and Jerry Richardson as the lead donors of the 49ers football stadium. McColl, a banking industry pioneer who built Bank of America into one of this country's largest and most important financial institutions and Richardson, the owner of the NFL Carolina Panthers who watched the franchise grow from expansion team to Super Bowl participant, joined forces in naming McColl-Richardson Field. Charlotte is actively seeking a donor for naming rights for the stadium.
Currently in the process of building their first NCAA Div. I football program, the Charlotte 49ers will take the field in the inaugural season of 2013. Charlotte will compete as an independent for its first two years in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). In 2015, the 49ers will compete in Conference USA in football in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Each of the 49ers other 16 sports will begin play in Conference USA in 2013-14.