Keep the Promise

$1 Million Gift to Help Fund Improvements to Snell Field

Adele Boyd ’53, a revered Ursinus professor and field hockey coach, bequeathed the funds to the college after she passed away in January.

Boyd was appointed head field hockey coach at Ursinus in 1972, taking over for Eleanor Frost Snell, who led the Bears for nearly 40 years and developed the program into a national powerhouse. Eleanor Frost Snell Alumnae Field is named in her honor.

Boyd’s million-dollar gift is earmarked for a field resurfacing project. The usual replacement timeline for a turf is 10 years, and the playing surface on Snell Field is 13 years old and showing its age. The $1.5 million resurfacing project includes installation of a new AstroTurf 12 field surface. Work is expected to begin during spring 2019, with the renovation complete by the fall 2019 field hockey season. 

She also left an additional $150,000, which will serve as a keystone to the next phase of athletic capital projects that will emerge from Ursinus’s campus master planning process over the coming year.

“Adele’s generous gift is a testament to her selflessness and her love and passion for Ursinus and our field hockey program,” says Laura Moliken, director of athletics. “She will forever be part of the great legacy and tradition of women’s sports at the college. Snell Field pays tribute to that legacy, to Eleanor, to the women who compete here, and now, to Adele.” 

Boyd’s 17-year career as coach included 16 winning seasons. She took the Bears to three consecutive second-place finishes in the AIAW Tournament during the late 1970s. Her 1983 squad won the Eastern College Athletic Conference title and her teams were consistently nationally ranked in the Top 20, many of them considered to be among the best in the nation.

She was a member of the Philadelphia Association Team from 1953-67. She played on the U.S. national team from 1959-67, and was captain from 1963-67. She played on touring squads that traveled to Great Britain in 1962, Jamaica in 1964 and Germany in 1967. In addition, she served as a national umpire, officer and team selector for the United States Field Hockey Association.

Eleanor Frost Snell Alumnae Field was dedicated in 2005. Since then, the Ursinus field hockey team won a national championship in 2006, advanced to the NCAA Division III Final Four seven times, and has won 11 Centennial Conference championships.