Tuesday, Aug. 16, in a ceremony beginning at 11 a.m., Morningside
College renamed Roberts Stadium as The Elwood Olsen Stadium,
in honor of the former Sioux City resident and longtime
college employee whose generous gift to the college made the
stadium’s renovation possible. A black curtain veiled
the name (see photo to the right) until Morningside President
John Reynders announced the new name, when the curtain
"Today is a
very special day for Morningside College, for the Sioux City
Community School District, and for the community," said
Reynders. "It is a day to celebrate a successful partnership
between the college and the district, a partnership that is
focused on students—on improving their environment.
It is a day to celebrate the vision of a wonderful donor.
It is a day to recognize his generosity as we dedicate this
facility in his honor."
Olsen is a 1938 graduate of Morningside College and served
his alma mater for 30 years, first as business manager and
then as vice president of business, from 1948 until his retirement
in 1978. (Follow this
link to read his biography.)
between the college and the Sioux City Community School District
was formed in May 2004, and over $2.6 million in renovations
to the stadium were completed by the college during the summers
of 2004 and 2005.
The ceremony, held at the east end of the stadium, featured
remarks by Reynders; Larry Williams, SCCSD
superintendent; Marty Dougherty, city council member, Debi
president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce; and Rep.
Roger Wendt, Iowa House District 2.
was unable to attend the ceremony, due to health concerns
and distance, but his son Ty Olsen was on hand to
give remarks. Christine Olsen, the daughter of Elwood
Olsen, and her son Thad were also in attendance (see
photo to the left, pictured, from left to right, are Thad,
Ty, and Christine Olsen). Olsen’s other son, Le, was
not able to attend.
The Rev. James
Hanke, Sioux City district superintendent for the United
Methodist Church, offered prayer.
Work on the stadium
began in June 2004, shortly after the college and
the school district entered
into an agreement whereby the college would lease
for 99 years in return for completing $2.35 million in renovations
to the stadium and allowing the school district to use
stadium in perpetuity, according to guidelines set out in
which totaled over $2.6 million, included:
• Repair and restoration of the bleachers, including
• New field lighting
• A new public address system
• New track
• Repair and painting of stadium walls, including installation
of new fencing
• New east-end parking lot
• Remodeling of locker rooms and restrooms.
Additionally, the school district oversaw the installation
of a new digital scoreboard.
The photo to the right shows the completed stadium.
photo courtesy of Dave Tunge, Dakota Aerials. Used with permission.