Fourth Athletic Field
In 1956, during the administration of President Virgil H. Stewart, a new athletic field was made available for the Mountain Lions. Although several previous years were spent in its development, with much of its rough grading done in conjunction with relocating the road upon the completion of the Science Building in 1951 and the construction of the parking lot adjacent to the present field, an appropriation of $85,000 was finally made available in 1953 to construct the field. All of the $85,000 was spent on final grading, the preparation of the playing surfaces and seeding, the construction of the ¼-mile cinder track, the necessary drainage conduits, the fencing, the construction of six asphalt-surfaced tennis courts, and the construction of one section of seating to accommodate the spectators.
The Student Government Association donated an electric scoreboard, and the Alumni Association donated a public address system. Both of these were operated from the sidelines of the field. Also, a loyal alumnus and fan donated the goal posts. When the athletic complex was first used in 1956, there were no facilities for members of the press, ticket sellers or concessions. Spectators who could not find a seat in the sole section of bleachers sat on the side of the hill to watch the game. Within the next couple of years, additional appropriations were made to increase the seating capacity of the stadium, to construct the present building that houses the press box, concessions and rest rooms, and to build facilities for the ticket sellers. Later in the 1960s, when track and tennis were popular sports on the campus, additional funds were made available to build an all-weather track and to resurface the tennis courts.
The first football season played on the new field was a 0-9-0 losing season in 1956. The first football game played on the new field was a 19-13 loss to Salem College, and it was not until the 1957 season that the Mountain Lions scored their first victory on the new field with a 9-7 win over Shepherd College.
After being used for a decade and during the administration of President Joseph F. Marsh, Jr., this field was dedicated and named the Jim Callaghan Stadium on October 22, 1966 in memory of James Callaghan, Head Football Coach,1932-1948.