Lipscomb Academy students have a new home for the middle and high school soccer programs thanks to the generosity of Jim and Pam Griffith of Canton, Ohio.
On Friday, April 26, the Griffith Family Soccer Field and Complex — known to students as The Griff — was officially dedicated and opened for use by the boys’ and girls’ soccer programs at the academy. The complex includes a competition soccer field with lighting, a practice field, home and visitor locker rooms, public restrooms and a concession stand. It is located on the west side of Franklin Road just past the intersection with Caldwell Lane.
“A lot of vision and planning and work has taken place to bring this to fruition today,” said Mike Hammond, Lipscomb Academy headmaster and vice president. “We are humbled by the gift that the Griffiths have given. We celebrate this new era in soccer at Lipscomb Academy.”
The field was officially dedicated with a ceremony held between junior varsity and high school varsity boys’ soccer matchups against Nashville’s Christ Presbyterian Academy.
“This soccer facility is one of the finest middle and high school complexes in Middle Tennessee,” said Mike Roller, Lipscomb Academy associate head master for athletics and student life. “All of our soccer student athletes will benefit from the generosity of the Griffiths for generations to come.”
At the ceremony, Lipscomb University president L. Randolph Lowry thanked the Griffiths for helping make the dream for a new soccer facility a reality.
“One of my favorite sayings is that ‘nothing ever rose to touch the sky unless someone dreamed that it could, still others believed that it should and others willed that it would,’” he said. “We are here today because some dream and some believe and some willed. Now, we are opening this wonderful new facility. We thank Jim and Pam and their whole family for dreaming with us, believing in us and contributing in a generous way so this could happen.”
“A lot will happen on this field,” Lowry continued. “There will be great games that are played here. But, there will also be relationships that begin here and will last a lifetime. There will be lessons that are taught on this field – some having to do with winning and some having to do with losing. There will be leadership that is developed on this field that will last a lifetime in these young people.”
The Griffiths have a strong connection with Lipscomb. Their grandchildren — Reid, Eli and Emma Weber—attend the academy. Daughter Jennifer Weber is a clinical adjunct in Lipscomb University’s School of Nursing, and son-in-law Josh Weber is a member of the academy’s sixth-grade faculty and assistant high school football coach.
“The Lipscomb culture and values have enveloped our family. Lipscomb is a very big part of our lives,” said Jim Griffith. “This gift was given out of a desire to say thank you to the Lipscomb community for the values and the training they have given to our children. Thank you for what you have created here at Lipscomb, for what it means to our family and to everyone who is involved in taking the dream of creating a soccer field and making it a reality.”
Soccer coach Nathan Proffitt concluded the ceremony with a word of thanks to the Griffiths. “Thank you for enriching our lives and our work in addition to countless lives in the future,” he said.
A reception of hot dogs, popcorn and snow cones among other concession stand-style refreshments followed the ceremony.
For more information about the Lipscomb Academy soccer program, visit lipscombacademy.org.