CSUB receives $1 million donation from local builder to help build baseball training facility

August 5, 2008
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, kmiller26@csub.edu or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720, mnewell1@csub.edu
$1 million donation photo

With seven months before their first game, California State University, Bakersfield's baseball program has already hit a home run thanks to Tom and Barbara Hardt. At a news conference this morning the long-time Bakersfield residents stepped up to the plate with a $1 million donation to help construct the university's baseball training and playing facility.

"I have expressed to Tom and Barbara our deepest gratitude for believing in our vision of excellence and for investing in CSUB's future," said President Horace Mitchell. "The addition of a baseball program is a big asset to our campus and our community. We are thrilled by the Hardts' commitment."

Baseball is the university's newest sport and part of the transition to NCAA Division I. The baseball training and playing facility will be located on the southwest corner of campus, near the current little league facility.

"Barbara and I are pleased to be able to support CSUB and the athletics program," said Mr. Hardt, who received a bachelor's degree as part of the university's second graduating class in 1973 and has been building homes in Bakersfield for over 40 years. "We believe this gift will have a positive and lasting impact on the experience of student-athletes.

"The core values learned as an athlete discipline, teamwork, competitiveness, sacrifice are critical to developing young people into successful contributors to our society. With nine kids and seven grandchildren, we know the importance of education and want to help build a future for all the kids in our community."

Plans for the $2 million baseball training and playing facility include a playing field, game-quality fan facilities and a state-of-the-art hitting tunnel structure. Construction will take place in phases as funds are raised, starting with the playing field. No state funds will be used for the project.

"The university made a positive impact on me that continues today. It's a great learning environment, from the classroom to the athletic programs," Mr. Hardt added. "It's an honor to be able to give back to the school and support it in a very meaningful way. I would encourage others to do the same. Contributions at all levels, both monetary and donations of goods or services, will help complete this project. This is a facility for our community that will be built by our community."

A baseball advisory committee, to be chaired by Mr. Hardt, will make the day-to-day decisions about the training and playing facility construction. The committee will only be able to move forward with project construction as funds are received.

For details about the training and playing facility or how to make a donation to the university, contact Beverly Byl, vice president for university advancement, at (661) 654-2137.