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Lights On: William Scripps Donates $100,000 to Launch Initiative to Light Baseball Field

Great-grandson of E.W. Scripps provides leadership gift for $450,000 project

December 10, 2009

By Jade Griffin

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William Scripps

The University of California, San Diego’s baseball team has something new to cheer about.  A generous $100,000 gift from campus supporter and Athletic Board member William Scripps has helped launch an initiative to purchase and install lighting on UC San Diego’s baseball field.

Scripps is the grandson of Robert Paine Scripps and the great-grandson of E.W. Scripps, founder of the Scripps-Howard newspaper company, United Press International and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 

“It’s important for the baseball team to have lights for their field,” Scripps said.  “Lighting will give Triton athletes more play time, which is key to their success.  It will serve as a great boost for the baseball program and our players.”

Last year, the UC San Diego baseball team placed fourth in the nation among Division II baseball teams, making it to the semifinals of the College World Series. 

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Lighting will provide our baseball players with more practice time.

In addition to more practice time, field lighting will give UC San Diego’s baseball team the opportunity to host championships—something that has not been possible to date. Since the baseball field is also open for use by members of the community, the option of holding night games would allow the university to accommodate play for more youth groups and other college-age teams from off-campus as well.  The total cost of the baseball field lighting is estimated at $450,000.

“This donation and support for the lighting initiative illustrates just how supportive our campus and the local community is of our student-athletes’ success, both on the field and off,” said Earl Edwards, director of UC San Diego Intercollegiate Athletics.  “These upgrades will provide our players with the opportunity for home field advantage at championships—with parents, alumni, friends and fellow students rooting from the sidelines.”

Although he never played intercollegiate athletics during his undergraduate years at the University of San Diego, Scripps has a strong affinity for sports and appreciates its value for a well-rounded college experience. Scripps has served on the UC San Diego Athletic Board for five years.  Last year, he gave $50,000 to help install the utilities needed for the baseball lights. While Scripps admits that baseball is his favorite sport—he owned a minor league baseball team in Georgia for several years in the 1980’s—he is an avid advocate of the entire athletics program. 

“This is a great time to be involved in athletics at UCSD,” said Scripps.  “The success of the program is impressive.  It’s a testament to the caliber of UC San Diego’s student-athletes, coaches and staff.”

The 2009 National Collegiate Scouting Association’s Collegiate Power Rankings recently placed UC San Diego first in Division II, and seventh overall, based on student-athlete graduation rates, academic strength and athletic prowess.
“There is so much room for growth for this young, fresh athletics program,” Scripps said. “Supporting UC San Diego Athletics is an excellent investment in the university and the community, and because the needs of the program are so great, all gifts make an especially significant impact.” 

Scripps has one other reason for being proud of the Tritons: “They have the best logo in town.”

To learn more about how you can help the baseball team secure lights for their field, please call (858) 534-3540 or email dphilippi@ucsd.edu.  To make a secure online gift, you may visit www.givetoathletics.ucsd.edu and click on “Give Now” to support our baseball facilities fund.


Giving to UC San Diego
Founded in 1960, the University of California, San Diego is ranked the 7th best public university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, and has been named the “hottest” institution to study science by Newsweek. But with higher education’s share of state revenue declining each year, UC San Diego must increasingly rely on financial support from private sources to pursue groundbreaking research and cutting-edge technologies. With the support of generous alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends, our campus can continue to provide local impact, national influence and global reach as one of the world’s leading education and research institutions.  For more information, call 858-534-1610 or visit www.giving.ucsd.edu.


Media Contact: Jade Griffin at jadegriffin@ucsd.edu or 858-822-5309

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