Aug. 28 Update: Due to Hurricane Harvey, the dedication ceremony will be held in the Calgaard Gym at 5:30 p.m.
Trinity’s intramural (IM) field will be dedicated to alumnus and former IM director, Jim Potter. The field and scoreboard will take his name officially at a dedication event this Friday, where he will celebrate and be celebrated by friends, family, Trinity and all welcome merrymakers.
A small reception will be held on the field at 4 p.m. this Friday, Aug. 25, before the ceremony and unveiling of the scoreboard at 5:30. Students and faculty are encouraged to attend and celebrate Jim Potter and his legacy, which will finally be solidified on Trinity’s campus.
“We have been working on approval to name the field in Jim’s honor for many years,” said Bob King, director of athletics.
The event will host Jim and his family as well as any who wish to join and bear first witness to the newly christened field and scoreboard. The ceremony will also serve as an unofficial kickoff for the 2017 Hallympics, which will be the first IM event to take place on the Potter Field.
“It’s a “˜mix and mingle’ of those who worked for him in the past and those who want to come and celebrate him, a living legend of Trinity, if you will,” said Kristen Harrison, associate athletic director for recreation and sports camps. “Everyone is encouraged to come participate and be there for the unveiling.”
The man of the hour, Jim Potter, was Trinity’s IM director for over 30 years before he retired from the position in 2000. Those on campus who were able to get to know Potter before he retired count themselves lucky. Many people agree on his exemplary character and the strong influence he held over Trinity.
“He is a fantastic person. Great personality to be around,” Harrison said.
Heather Haynes Smith, assistant professor of education, worked under Potter in the IM office before he retired. Smith spoke fondly of Potter’s demeanor around the office and the environment he helped create for his workers.
“The intramural office was the coolest place on campus. He always asked about how all of us were doing and was there to talk to if you needed support or advice. I am so thankful I met him and got to work with him and all the fun IM staff. They were like family and took care of me,” Smith said.
Much of Potter’s influence and many of his implementations have stuck around Trinity’s campus. Members of the athletic department, like King, hope that Potter’s impact sticks around for the long haul.
“The current [recreational] sports programming was designed by Jim. His policies, procedures and [operations of recreational] sports are still being used 17 years into his retirement. I think that Jim elevated the status of recreational sports on campus. He was a dynamic leader with a great passion for his work,” King said.
Harrison, who is entering her second semester with Trinity, is excited to bring back some of the traditions Potter established. Even with the limited time she has had with TU’s athletic department thus far, she expressed her appreciation for Potter and excitement for the dedication.
“I’d like to revive some of the sports he had at Trinity. It’d be great to have the Jim Potter sportsmanship award for IM sports renewed,” Harrison said.
Harrison also hopes that first-year students and others unfamiliar with Potter will attend the event and put a face to the name of the new field. The first-years will be the first class to know the IM field formally as the Jim Potter Intramural Field throughout their Trinity experience.
“First-years can see a name and face together. They will see the name “˜Potter Field’ and will remember who it was that it was dedicated to. It’ll start from them,” Harrison said.
King is excited to honor Jim Potter with the field and see the completion of the work and devotion that the athletic department has made in making this event happen for him. King is confident in the importance that the dedication will have for Potter and his loved ones.
“I know that [the dedication] means a great deal to Jim and his family. I want to thank the many people who worked on this tremendous day for Jim, and I’m sure he is grateful to all of those people as well. I also want Jim to know that the athletic department is honored to have a field on campus in his name,” King said.
Potter’s daughter Christa Scannell also spoke on his behalf regarding their family’s excitement and the support they have received.
“This has been such an exciting process. Since Dad got the call from President Danny Anderson, there has been an outpouring from former students and staff over email, Facebook, sending letters, talking about what IM meant to them,” Scannell said.
For those interested, you can register for intramurals at its website, imleagues.com/trinity.
Students are encouraged to get involved, experience the excitement and celebrate the legacy of the man who made it all, or at least most of it, happen.