Jacksonville, Florida – Edward Waters University (EWU) is continuing its trajectory to transform the landscape of the campus community and provide premier facilities that enhance the student university experience. In a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, the University unveiled and dedicated the new Dr. Nathaniel Glover Community and Field Stadium.
“Over four years ago, Edward Waters, under the leadership of my predecessor and the City of Jacksonville, led by our visionary Mayor and an equally supportive Jacksonville City Council collaborated in making a substantial commitment to enhance not only our academic community but to provide transformative support and uplift to Northwest Jacksonville and the greater New Town Community that Edward Waters calls home,” said Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., president and CEO of Edward Waters University. “Today’s occasion marks the realization of our vision to provide a state-of-the-art athletic field and stadium for our student-athletes and coaches to showcase their athletic talents. Providing elite facilities such as this one is especially important as we have been accepted as a NCAA Division II HBCU Member Institution and member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC).”
In February 2020, the University broke ground on the community field and stadium with a plan to replace the EWU practice field and enhance the overall competitive profile of the athletic program and game day experience. The $4.3 million dollar project provides a permanent home to the University’s football and soccer programs, the former of which kicks off its inaugural season in the NCAA and SIAC on Saturday, August 28 in a historic gridiron match up against Florida Memorial University which begins at 4 p.m.
“Our city is proud to be home to EWU and its proud legacy as the oldest private institution for higher learning in the state and we look forward to an even brighter future. Under the leadership of Dr. Faison building upon the great foundation laid by Dr. Glover and their predecessors, I am confident this momentum will continue to build. This is about more than a football field, about more than a stadium, it’s about investing in this prestigious institution, this historic community, and the betterment of our entire community” said Mayor Lenny Curry.
Following the dedication and ribbon cutting of the Glover Stadium, the University held an unveiling and ribbon cutting of the Tiger Plaza. Dr. Faison expressed that the university “wanted to build a destination space that would enhance the game day experience at Edward Waters University. Our vision for a premier gathering and meeting space focused on community fellowship and activity birthed the Tiger Plaza which will undoubtedly serve as a gathering hub for faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the university.”
At the perimeter of Tiger Plaza is a 14 foot Tiger made of solid bronze and weighing 1500 pounds. It was designed by Darren Hussey of All Classics Limited. Tiger Plaza was designed by Chris Washington of Division 12 Consulting and constructed by Chris Mouhoutis of Cor13 Construction Management. Dr. Faison “The marker is one of historical significance that represents the spirit of Edward Waters University and the prideland that serves as home of the EWU Tigers. This statue signifies that this is Tiger territory and enhances our campus aesthetic and the on campus event experience in Tiger Plaza” said Dr. Faison.
“We are embarking on a new era for Edward Waters University. We have gone from a NAIA status to NCAA Division II so it is fitting that we mark our new status with this monument, one that was envisioned by President Faison. It became the vision of all of our teams to create a new game day environment that would be second to none” said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Paul Bryant.
All of the Edward Waters University athletic programs were represented with a host of student-athletes, cheerleaders, and members of the marching band on site at the ribbon cuttings. Molly Ragle, President of the Student Athletic Advisory Council and member of the women’s basketball team said, “we are so excited and honored to be part of the history that the school has been making. The new Tiger Plaza will serve as a platform for the student body to come together, connect, and make the most of our experiences at this school together.”