On March 4, university officials announced Elizabeth and Drayton McLane, Jr., and their family had made the largest gift in the history of Mary Hardin-Baylor for the university’s new football stadium, which will be named Crusader Stadium.
“When Elizabeth and Drayton first learned that the university was considering an on-campus football stadium, they immediately expressed an interest in the project and became our greatest champions for making this dream come true,” said President Randy O’Rear. “The new stadium, with its connection to a new student union building, will transform the student life experience at Mary Hardin- Baylor. The university has been richly blessed by the friendship and generosity of the McLanes for many years, and we could not be more grateful to Elizabeth, Drayton, and their family for making this transformational gift.”
Temple businessman Drayton McLane, Jr., and his wife, Elizabeth, are well known in Central Texas for their commitment to community organizations and philanthropic activities. Drayton is chairman of the Temple-based McLane Group and is former CEO and chairman of the Houston Astros Baseball Club.
“Elizabeth and Drayton McLane have supported Crusader football from day one when a gift from the family helped pay for equipment and the team’s first set of uniforms in 1998,” said Pete Fredenburg, head football coach. “This stadium is going to move our program to a new level of prominence, and it would not have come to life without this generous gift from the McLane family. Their generosity is amazing, and it is hard to find words to adequately express how grateful we are to this wonderful family.”
Crusader Stadium will be built on University Drive in the heart of the campus. The stadium has been designed in tandem with a new three-story student union building that incorporates views of the playing field throughout the facility.
The stadium will be the first permanent home for the Crusader football team, which has played at Belton High School’s Tiger Field since its inaugural season in 1998. The program rapidly achieved national prominence and has posted an impressive 133-33 win-loss record in 14 seasons. Construction of the stadium began in March, and plans call for the complex to be complete in summer 2013.
“We decided as a family that we wanted to help UMHB build an on-campus football stadium because we believe that athletic programs play a fundamental role in tying the student body to the university and strengthen school spirit. We love supporting UMHB because the university is committed to Christian values, and Christian values have been important to the McLane family for generations. Our son, Drayton III, is a member of the UMHB Board of Trustees; he and his wife, Amy, and their sons Drayton IV, Brooks, and Walker, and our son Denton and his wife, Amy, and sons Jeff and Jake join us in our continued support of Christian higher education at Mary Hardin-Baylor. We are excited about the momentum and direction of the university and want to be a part of what it can accomplish.”
—Elizabeth and Drayton McLane, Jr.