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Benefactor Supports Athletics With $1 Million Gift

By Scott Stapin, Athletic Media Relations
March 21, 2007

Edward A. Fish, a long-time UNH benefactor and a member of the Class of ’58, has given $1 million to initiate phase one of the stadium project, athletics director Marty Scarano announced this week.

Construction on a new state-of-the-art FieldTurf playing surface will begin this summer and be completed before the start of the 2007 football season. FieldTurf is an artificial surface that looks and plays like grass.

Fish, long-time owner/president of the Suffolk Construction Company in Boston, played both hockey and football at UNH. He also is the primary donor for the Edward Fish ’58 Football Scholarship.

"Ed Fish has been, and continues to be, one of UNH Athletics’ most generous benefactors,” said Scarano. “Ed's latest gift will be utilized to install a FieldTurf synthetic surface for Cowell Stadium this summer. It represents phase one of our plan to completely renovate the stadium into a multi-purpose facility.

Ed has continually exhibited a great love for his alma mater and shares a vision for excellence in athletics. I can't tell you how many times he has been there for us when we needed support to move our agenda forward. He is a true leader. I really appreciate the relationship that Ed and I have and his generosity in not only money but time as well.”

The installation of the new playing surface will go a long way for the football program in terms of recruiting and will also benefit the men’s and women’s soccer teams and other UNH athletic programs.

“Ed’s commitment to excellence has its blueprint all over our football program,” said head coach Sean McDonnell. “His generosity over the years has greatly helped in our success. This new playing surface is the first step toward a facility that will match anyone in our conference. Ed is at the leading forefront with this gift and again shows his true love for our university.”

Community programs and organizations will also benefit from the new field, which will provide an outstanding site for high school championships. The softer, more consistent surface makes the playing experience better and safer for all student-athletes.

“I personally want to thank Mr. Fish for his generous donation,” said Walter Payton Award-Winning quarterback Ricky Santos. “The benefits of a new FieldTurf surface are endless. Our team will now be able to play at a faster pace. The footing will be better in rough conditions, and the stability of the surface will reduce the likelihood of injury. With this new field we can now compete on the same surface as many other teams in our league. This is a great step forward for our program.”

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