WACO, Texas - Baylor Softball fans from near and far gathered on Thursday, Oct. 7, as Baylor University formally dedicated the Getterman Indoor Softball Facility during a ceremony held in the state-of-the-art indoor practice space.
Blending in with the arenas, fields and facilities of the Julie and Jim Turner Riverfront Athletic Complex, the Getterman Indoor Softball Facility enhances the Baylor Softball program by creating a space for year-round practice and player development.
"This is a thrill for our coaches, our staff, our student-athletes and, really, the entire Baylor Family," said Ian McCaw, Baylor University's director of athletics.
"The addition of Getterman Indoor Softball Facility is going to give us the edge we need to continue to thrive well into the future and continue to build this program."
Dary Stone, chairman of the Baylor Board of Regents, presided over the dedication ceremony. Baylor President Ken Starr, Head Softball Coach Glenn Moore and McCaw joined him in making remarks during the ceremony, which honored special guests Sue and Ted Getterman. Longtime Baylor Softball supporters, the Gettermans generously provided the new facility.
"Everything I pray for and hope for, for Baylor, is embodied in this family," Stone said. "If every single member of the Baylor family loved Baylor, supported Baylor, prayed for Baylor, showed up for Baylor like the Getterman family, we'd take over the world."
Getterman Indoor Softball Facility houses a multi-functional, climate-controlled space where practices can run un-hindered regardless of unpredictable weather conditions. Boasting six retractable batting cages, two pitching stations, a realistic artificial playing surface and a full-size "infield" for offensive and defensive drills, Baylor Softball now has one of the premier practice facilities in the nation.
"We truly have a facility that is the envy of everybody in the Big 12; it's the envy of every other softball program in the country, and it's just a tremendous blessing to our coaching staff and our student athletes," McCaw said. "Regardless of what the weather may be doing outside, they're always going to have a place that is comfortable and dry and will allow them to reach their full potential as student-athletes."
The new structure neighbors Getterman Stadium, which the Gettermans made possible in 2001 with the largest gift to women's athletics in Baylor history. Creating a versatile and impressive softball complex, the two facilities will assist the program's efforts to improve player development and recruit high caliber student-athletes.
"Speaking on behalf of all of the team, we want to thank Ted and Sue Getterman," said sophomore pitcher Whitney Canion. "Three years ago in my recruiting process, I came and saw the stadium, and nothing compared to this. I heard about the indoor facility being built. Seeing the blueprints and talking about it in recruiting, helped me make my decision to come to Baylor. I have many friends at other schools, and no one has this," Canion said. "It's such a blessing. We could live in here."
In addition to formally dedicating the practice facility, the occasion also celebrated the unveiling of a commemorative bronze plaque, hanging at Getterman Stadium, to honor the Gettermans for their faithful support of the Baylor Softball program.
Coach Moore spoke directly to the Gettermans: "Not only have you changed the lives of softball athletes, you've changed the lives of people in the Waco community and at Baylor. We've been blessed as a University, and we've been blessed as a program."
Louis Theodore Getterman, Jr. (BBA '49, JD '51) and Sue Holt Getterman (BA '50) are lifelong members of the Baylor family. The two met at Baylor in the late 1940s while they were both students and have remained close to the University since that time. Among her most staunch supporters, the Gettermans have provided substantial support while meeting a variety of needs across campus, ranging from capital projects and student scholarships to academic areas and the arts.
"Sixty-two years ago, Ted and I lived in a little furnished apartment, and we were going to Baylor," Sue Getterman told the crowd. "And if you had told us we'd be standing here today, giving anything of this magnitude to Baylor, we would have said, `You've been drinking the kool-aid.' But the Lord has a plan for us all," she continued. "We know that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from our Father, and the Lord has blessed us in so many ways."
Mr. Getterman is the former two-term mayor of Waco and president of the Seven-Up Bottling Company in Waco, Bryan and Austin. Mrs. Getterman is a dedicated civic servant, including nearly a decade of service as a Baylor University Regent with her service concluding in 2010.
In recognition of their service and contributions to the life and future of Baylor University, Ted and Sue Getterman received the Founders Medal, considered the University's highest honor, in 2005.
"Mr. Ted and Ms. Sue, you've been there at every turn for all of athletics," President Starr said to the couple. "This is yet the latest manifestation of your great generosity of spirit. At every turn, you've been willing to respond to the call, `How can I help?'"
"I want everyone on their feet to say `thank you' to Ted and Sue Getterman for making this facility possible," Starr said as the Gettermans received a standing ovation. "We honor you this day.
The 2011 Softball season begins in February of next year; however, the team has already begun practicing in the new facility.