Northwestern broke ground April 25 on Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium, marking the next phase in the development of the University's new Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex.

The renovated soccer and lacrosse field will be named for Northwestern alumnus and trustee J. Landis (Lanny) Martin '68, '73 JD and his wife, Sharon Martin '02 P, '08 P, in recognition of their generous support of the project. Important donors to Northwestern for more than 30 years, the Martins are co-chairs of We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern and have committed $15 million to support Northwestern’s campaign for athletics and recreation.

“Lanny’s and Sharon’s passion for Northwestern is reflected both in their own gifts and their fundraising leadership,” Northwestern President Morton Schapiro said.

“We are very grateful for their generosity and the central roles they play in the life of our University,” Schapiro added. “Their contributions are advancing our ability to provide our students with the best possible experience at Northwestern, academically, socially and athletically.”

The groundbreaking ceremony also celebrated the beginning of construction for Chap and Ethel Hutcheson Field, a brand new outdoor football practice field that will be built just south of Martin Stadium and will also be used for intramural and club sports. The ceremony also celebrated the renovation of a field hockey field that will include new artificial turf.

Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium will be used for competition by Northwestern’s men’s and women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse teams.

“Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium is part of a project that, when complete, will truly elevate the experience of every student-athlete at Northwestern,” said Nandi Mehta, junior co-captain of Northwestern women’s soccer, who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Words cannot describe what their gift and lifelong commitment to the University means to us and the impact it will have on future generations of Wildcats.”

Mehta was named Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2013, and this January she was chosen as a representative for the Big Ten Conference in the NCAA autonomy process. She is one of three student-athletes selected to represent her nearly 9,500 Big Ten peers in that position.

The Martins’ support of Northwestern also has included creating the J. Landis Martin Professorship of Law and Business as well as generous gifts to the Law School Fund and the Bienen School of Music Fund.

The new football practice field, Chap and Ethel Hutcheson Field, will be named in honor of the Martins’ longtime friend and associate Edward C. "Chap" Hutcheson Jr. '68 and his wife, Ethel. A University trustee and managing director of Platte River Ventures, a Denver-based private equity firm, Chap Hutcheson has served for the last two decades in senior management positions with publicly owned corporations in the telecommunications, financial services and oilfield services industries.

For more information about the Martins and to read the original story, please visit the Northwestern News Center.