During the 19th century, many of Cornell’s athletic teams trained on Percy Field where Ithaca High School now stands. During the early 1900s, though, Cornell’s population grew quickly and Percy Field was no longer suitable for the growing number of Cornell athletes.
Gradually, the idea of having adequate athletic facilities on campus developed. The Alumni Field Committee was created to consider this possibility and they persuaded the university set aside land for a field. The committee “strove, pled, and prayed” for donations to the proposed athletic facilities.
Because of a generous donation from Willard Straight ’01, the construction of a field house was made possible. The contribution came in memory of his friend, Henry (Heinie) Schoellkopf ’02, an outstanding football player and a “beloved gentle giant.” It is said that he once dove 70 feet into a gorge pool to rescue a drowning dog.
The Schoellkopf family themselves then responded to Straight’s donation and helped finance the project. Finally, construction of Schoellkopf Field, which would be on the highest point on campus, could take place. Schoellkopf Field was ready to open the fall of 1915. The University planned a huge parade from the Arts Quad to the field for the dedication exercises and opening football game. Everyone in Cornellundergraduates, faculty and staff, in addition to alumni and invited guestswas expected to participate.
Tenant: Cornell Big Red (NCAA)