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Lute athletic facilities: ‘Defining a vision, planning for the future’

August 23, 2010

Lute athletic facilities: ‘Defining a vision, planning for the future’

What does it take to mount a successful athletic program these days? A few things immediately come to mind: talented and highly motivated student athletes; experienced, dedicated and supportive coaches and staff; and high-quality equipment. According to Laurie Turner, director of athletics, PLU is doing all of these things very well.“We have had remarkable success over the years in our athletic program,” she said. “When you compare our program to that of other schools in the Northwest Conference and region, we stand out in just those ways in which we define success at PLU.

“We are helping individuals develop intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically. We are giving them the skills for a lifetime of leadership, personal success and service to others.

“PLU has also done a remarkable job in defining a vision and in planning for the future of athletic facilities to keep our programs among the top tier,” she said.

It’s part of a pattern at PLU.

Over the past 15 years, the campuswide, long-range facilities master plan has led to revitalization and renewal across campus.

Now the focus of attention includes enhancements in recreation and athletic facilities.

The university’s commitment to maintaining first-rate space on lower campus can be found in the Athletic, Recreation and Physical Education Master Plan. It calls for a broad menu of improvements that will meet the facilities needs for recreation, training and competition in every sport.

“The projects will be phased in over time,” Turner said.

The first major component is the creation of two outdoor all-weather lighted synthetic fields for practice, competition and recreation.

One of the fields will be designed to accommodate the addition of spectator seating, giving the campus a multipurpose stadium sometime in the future.

The construction of new indoor space for practice, instruction and recreation is also planned for phase one. It will probably include an indoor track as well as a floor surface capable of handling indoor tennis, basketball and volleyball.

Some improvements to Olson have been accomplished. A resurfaced basketball court, some new bleachers, an improved training room and locker room enhancements were all completed last summer with donor support.

Phase two of the master plan will guide many other upgrades including the swimming pool, fitness center, baseball and softball fields, outdoor track and additional work on Olson.

All of the athletic facility enhancements will be funded by donor contributions.

“Our priorities are flexible,” Turner said. “We intend to enhance the athletic and recreational experience across all collegiate and recreational programs.

“If a donor is ready to step up right now to make a difference for any one of our programs, we have components in the long-range plan that will make that gift work for the donor, for the team and for the overall progress of our athletic facility enhancements.

There are many ways to make an investment in athletic programs at PLU. Contributions can be made outright or through planned giving vehicles, such as a bequest provision, trust, gift annuity or gift of life insurance. To learn more about investment options and supporting Lute athletics and facilities enhancements, please contact Laurie Turner at or 253- 535-7361 or contact the Office of Development at 253-535-7177 or visit and click on “Make a Gift.”