Manchester University / Alumni / Saylor makes challenge gift for stadium project

Saylor makes challenge gift for stadium project

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As a record-breaking split end for the Spartan football team in the mid-1980s, Todd Saylor ’87 knows how much alumni support can mean to student-athletes.

Now he is challenging others to help raise money for a new athletic stadium on the North Manchester campus by matching gifts up to $100,000.

 “When you think about a journey, think about life, you think about the people who are important to you and how that molds you and what you’re going to become,” says Saylor, who was inducted into the M Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. His success started at Manchester, he adds, because of the people he knew. “When you go to a school like Manchester, you’re in a moment when people are shaping you and you’re not even aware of it.

““My purpose with the donation is to fuel the journey for others, as was done for me and so many others,” Saylor added.

A business major at Manchester, Saylor is the CEO of PayServ Systems, which developed Workforcethrive, a cloud-based payroll and Human Capital Management service used nationally.

He is married to Manchester alumna Traci Foltz ’86 Saylor.

The Board of Trustees at its May meeting voted to move forward on the stadium project, drawing on funds designated for capital improvements and adding to funds already raised from donor gifts. The fundraising continues, says President Dave McFadden, but Manchester can’t wait any longer to get this important project started.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the stadium is planned for Homecoming Oct. 12.

The new stadium will feature an artificial turf widely used in university and professional stadiums and allow teams to practice outside from early spring to late fall, relieving demand on the PERC. The current field is used only about 50 hours a year, while a new stadium will be used at least 1,500 hours a year, according to Rick Espeset, MU athletic director.

In addition, with artificial turf, the University will no longer need to dedicate 240 hours of maintenance for natural grass turf.

A new stadium will put MU more on par with those of other conference schools and strengthen Manchester’s hand in recruiting more high-quality students. The facility, with a modern Olympic-sized outdoor track around the field’s perimeter, will allow Manchester to host major track and field events, elevating the University’s profile and attracting more visitors to the campus and community.

The project also will include seating for Spartan fans and visitors, a press box, concession area and restrooms.

A range of teams can use the stadium, which will allow Manchester to add men’s and women’s lacrosse teams in the future if it chooses to, says McFadden.

And it’s not just MU student-athletes who will benefit, adds Espeset.

“You create a space that is used year-round and is used by all types of people. It’s not just football, it’s intramurals, it’s PE classes, it’s the community. … What I’ve seen when I go to other facilities, there’s always somebody doing something.”

For more information, or to make a gift to the stadium, please contact Melanie Harmon, vice president for advancement, at mbharmon@manchester.edu. You also can make a gift here.