Tuesday, June 22, 2021

State High grad makes $1 million commitment to Memorial Field project

STATE COLLEGE — Larry M. Beans, State High Class of 1962, has pledged a $1 million gift to the Campaign for Memorial Field, the SCASD Education Foundation announced.

The first part of his commitment, $875,000, was approved by the school board at its May 24 meeting. As part of his gift, Beans has chosen naming rights for the concession stand, the press box, the bleachers and the scoreboard.Retirement won’t change them. It just clears their schedule.77% of clients say they’ll spend retirement relaxing and traveling, but what about the rest of their free time? Here’s how to help.Ad By Hartford Funds See More

The concession stand will be named to honor his entire 1962 graduating class and the scoreboard design will be determined at a later date.

“When I read about the project in the (Education Foundation) magazine, I thought an awful lot about the stadium. It’s a beautiful, iconic setting and I felt that this was something as a community and as alumni that we can do,” Beans said.

“It’s a hard thing to explain, but when I think of Memorial Field and remember Friday night football — the crisp air, the lights, cheerleaders, the band, people in the stands — it was magnificent. I want to see that it’s saved and stayed in the location where it was originally built. I support many causes, but this one is very personal and worthwhile to me.”

“In learning about Larry’s background and his gift, it’s clear that he’s motivated by the sense of community he felt during his State High experience,” said Education Foundation President Chris Buchignani.

“On behalf of the Education Foundation board, I share my gratitude with Larry for his dedication to improving this community landmark so that it can continue to bring people together.”

Renovations to Memorial Field will strengthen the foundation for a secure and sustainable future for State College athletics and contribute to State College as a whole.

The project improves and increases the safety of the practice and playing experience for athletes, members of the marching band, and community youth sports organizations; leverages the existing structure of the Fairmont Building to add needed indoor space for team meetings; provides an exemplary community gathering space for games and other events by offering a safe, more enjoyable spectator experience; and showcases our students and the tremendous level of community support afforded to our district by engaged and invested local individuals, families and businesses.

“Sports were a big part of my life in school. At the time, coaching was just as much about human relationships as it was about training. Coaches and teachers were so much a part of all of our lives. The town, the community, coaches and teachers, teammates and classmates, we all worked in concert to accomplish goals. Anything we can do for kids today to give them a safe setting for activities that teach them to be good and hard-working, that’s worthwhile,” Beans said.

“My own experiences meant a lot to me — they kept me out of trouble, kept me positive, taught me human decency and leadership,” he continued.

“It doesn’t matter what you give, it matters that you get involved. Sports, band, choir and other activities all need support. It’s a team effort. We can do this together.”

Beans played football, basketball and baseball while at State College High School.

After high school, he graduated from college, was commissioned in the military and in 1970 he entered the explosives industry.

In 1984, he bought Maurer & Scott Sales Inc., with offices in the Lehigh Valley, now one of the most successful independent explosives distributorships in the country.

According to Buchignani, Beans’ commitment adds to an anonymous $200,000 pledge to name the main home team locker room and a $500,000 pledge from Galen Dreibelbis to name the stadium plaza area near the entryway at Nittany Avenue.

“The generosity of these individuals benefits not only today’s and future generations of State High students, but also the entire community. Safe, functional facilities improve the experience of students participating in athletics, at State High or in youth and community leagues, as well as the fans who come out to cheer on the Little Lions and other teams,” Buchignani said.

The State College Area School District Education Foundation is committed to enhancing the educational experience of students within the State College Area School District by providing financial support for innovative learning opportunities. Its vision is to create an enriching educational experience that challenges and inspires every student to reach their full potential.