COURTESY: Emporia State Sports Information
November 6, 2014-The generosity of a former Emporia State basketball and baseball player’s family will spearhead the hope for an enhanced stadium experience for Hornet football fans next fall. Roberta Shogren of Hutchinson, Kansas, the widow of Dennis Shogren, leads a group of donors providing funding for a new fully programmable high-definition video scoreboard at Emporia State’s Welch Stadium.
“Roberta’s sole motivation behind this generous gift is to honor her husband’s memory,” said Shane Shivley, Emporia State University Foundation vice president for development.
Dennis Shogren played basketball and baseball while attending what then was Kansas State Teachers College. A veteran of the United States Navy, he served during World War II. He was inducted into the Emporia State Athletics Hall of Honor in 1988.
Considered by many to be one of the top all-around athletes of his day, Shogren earned three varsity basketball letters and three varsity baseball letters between 1947 and 1950. He graduated from KSTC in 1950 with a bachelor of science in education and later earned a master’s degree in banking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined the First National Bank in St. John, Kansas, where he served as president for 35 years. He died Sept. 15, 2012.
“Dennis’s family is celebrating his memory and all sports at Emporia State with this incredible gift,” said Steve Sauder, the Now & Forever Campaign Champion for Athletics. “Dennis exemplified the ‘all for one, one for all’ spirit that makes being a Hornet so special. The Dennis Shogren Scoreboard will absolutely transform not only Welch Stadium, but the entire Emporia State University campus.”
At an estimated cost of $750,000, the video board will be nearly 35 feet tall and 41 feet wide fixed advertising panels. The system will also have a built-in audio system to replace the stadium’s current sound system. In-game live stats, score updates and video replay of game highlights are included in the system’s capabilities. Once fundraising is complete, the board will be installed at the south end of the stadium complex as early as next fall.
“There are still investment opportunities for this outstanding project to enhance our game day environment and crowd experience, and I encourage people to get in touch with Shane Shivley for more information,” said Kent Weiser, director of Intercollegiate Athletics.
“This is a visible sign to our players, future recruits and supporters that Emporia State football and the athletic department are on the move and the future is bright,” said Emporia State head football coach Garin Higgins. “It’s exciting for our players to see these kinds of improvements.”
In addition to its use at football games, the board will feature live results and replays during track and field meets.
“This new scoreboard will change the entire dynamic of our track and field meets,” said Emporia State track and field coach Steve Blocker. “Thanks to the amazing support of supporters like Roberta Shogren, this capability will allow us to continue to build our outstanding tradition of hosting championship-caliber track and field events in the region.”
The expanded vision is for the board to also be used for Emporia High School and other area high school football games along with a variety of non-athletic events such as movie nights or as a welcome sign during Black & Gold recruitment days.
“Our new campus master plan and strategic plan notes the importance of technology inside — and in this case, outside — the classroom,” said Dr. Michael D. Shonrock, Emporia State president. “It’s really exciting to think about the possibilities associated with a 650-inch flat screen television in the middle of the Emporia State campus.”
Launched in February 2013, Now & Forever: The Campaign for Emporia State University is a five- to seven-year effort with a working goal of $45 million. It is already the most successful fund-raising initiative in University history, with financial commitments now exceeding $32 million.
The campaign supports student scholarships, academic departments and initiatives that advance Emporia State’s mission to recruit students, teach and retain them, encourage them to graduate with lower levels of student debt, and ultimately put them on a path to a solid career.
For more information about giving opportunities for the Dennis Shogren scoreboard or other Now & Forever gifts, contact Shane Shivley, firstname.lastname@example.org, 620-341-5440.