UR names new football stadium
At a black-tie event Sept. 16 honoring the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking $50 million gift given by E. Claiborne Robins Sr. and his family to the University of Richmond in 1969, E. Claiborne Robins Jr. announced that the university’s new on-campus stadium will be named the “E. Claiborne Robins Stadium” in honor of the decades of generous support that the Robins Family and the Robins Foundation have provided to the University, including their support for Spider athletics and the new stadium project. The stadium is under construction to enlarge it into a multi-sports venue and bring Richmond Spiders football to campus for the first time since 1929.
“My father was passionate about the University of Richmond from the time he was a student on scholarship. His vision was to have University of Richmond become one of the best small private universities of its kind in the nation,” said Robins Jr., “and that included a strong intercollegiate athletic program. He was an avid Spiders fan and enthusiastically followed the university’s football program. He would have been a huge supporter for bringing Spider football back home, so it is a fitting tribute and very meaningful to our family to have the University of Richmond stadium bear his name.”
Speaking at the event, University of Richmond President Edward L. Ayers acknowledged the Robins family’s support and its impact throughout the campus. “The full meaning of the Robins family’s gift continues to unfold. The foundation put in place by this family’s remarkable generosity has inspired possibilities unimagined 40 years ago. Tonight we recognize Mr. Robins’ exceptional leadership and generosity, and that of his family.”
Since 2001, the current on-campus stadium has been known as “First Market Stadium,” in recognition of a gift from Bobby Ukrop, president of Ukrop’s Supermarkets, Richmond alumnus and emeritus member of the university’s Board of Trustees. “Mr. Robins had a magnificent vision for the university and for Spider football, and I believe E. Claiborne Robins Stadium will be a reflection of his ideals,” said Ukrop. “I, too, look forward to continuing our support of the university and the Spider athletic program.”
Robins Stadium, as the facility will now be known, is scheduled to open in September 2010. The first football game is slated for Sept. 18, 2010. Robins Stadium will also be home to soccer, lacrosse, and track and field.