Delgado Community College, in partnership with the Gayle and Tom Benson Charitable Foundation, has announced the launch of "The Tradition Campaign" for Delgado Athletics.
On Thursday, Mrs. Gayle Benson and members of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans organization joined Delgado Chancellor Larissa Littleton-Steib and the Delgado community to formally announce a one million dollar gift to kick start the campaign, which will culminate in the opening of The Gayle and Tom Benson Athletic Complex adjacent to historic "Rags" Scheuermann Field at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium on Delgado's City Park campus.
The ceremony consisted of remarks from Chancellor Steib, Coach Joe Scheuermann, Delgado Foundation Chairman Lee Giorgio, and Mrs. Gayle Benson, who praised Delgado's important work in the community and the rich legacy of the college and its baseball program. "The gift I make today is in honor of the entire Scheuermann family and the contribution they have made to this great school, the New Orleans sports community, and to our city. We hope that this gift and The Tradition Campaign will lead to thousands of more wins for Delgado."
Renderings of the new complex were formally unveiled at the event. The nearly 5,000 square foot footprint will house the baseball program's first permanent locker room in its four decade existence, as well as coaches' offices, equipment storage, and the Athletic Department's training room and student-athlete academic center in which players from Delgado's three sports can conduct study hall, tutoring and advising, and meet as a team. In addition, a multiuse space on the second floor will accommodate athletic events and gatherings with a balcony that overlooks "Rags" Scheuermann Field.
Former and current Delgado student-athletes, parents, and Delgado faculty and staff in attendance shared their excitement about the plans and the announcement, one Coach Joe Scheuermann has been waiting decades to make. "This is obviously a great gift, but also a very treasured gift for our program. It's no longer a dream…lots of players have come through our program over the past thirty-plus years. It's those players who built this tradition and now they're finally getting a building to house that great tradition. Our thanks to the Benson Foundation just aren't enough to express what this means to us."
In her remarks prior to making the formal announcement, Delgado's Chancellor, Dr. Larissa Littleton-Steib, echoed the day's sentiments for Mrs. Benson's gift and her tireless efforts to support our community.
Following the announcement, a formal groundbreaking with Mrs. Benson, Chancellor Steib, Coach Scheuermann, and current and former student-athletes on the future site of the Gayle and Tom Benson Athletic Complex capped off the memorable day.
The Gayle and Tom Benson Athletic Complex was designed by Manning Architects with consultation from CSRS Inc. The Delgado Foundation and Liberty Bank are proud partners and supporters of the project.
The Tradition Campaign will officially kick off Monday, coinciding with opening week of Delgado Baseball's 2020 season.
New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson attended the groundbreaking ceremony for The Gayle and Tom Benson Athletic Complex at Delgado Community College and was recognized as the campaign's first and major donor towards its construction on February 6, 2020.