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Just 17 months after getting the green light to build its very own regulation soccer field, Ursuline Academy recently hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the completed project.

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Mayor Mike Rawlings took a moment away from addressing ebola concerns in Dallas to speak to the Ursuline community last Thursday. He told students that the leadership women learn on the field carries on into the business world and impacts the future. (Photos courtesy Ursuline Academy/Facebook)

Mayor Mike Rawlings, Sister Margaret Ann Moser, District 13 representative (and Ursuline alumna) Jennifer Staubach Gates, Ursuline Academy president Gretchen Kane, and Ursuline’s board of trustees chair John Grimes Jr. addressed more than 1,000 students, faculty, staff, and community members in attendance at last week’s dedication ceremony.

The ceremony also served as a victory celebration for the school. The new field at the prominent corner of Walnut Hill and Inwood, named for Sister Margaret Ann Moser, O.S.U., was not an easy sell at first. In fact, it took more than twelve years to gain approval from City Council. The school broke ground on the project in April.

“District 13 city planner Margot Murphy and former District 13 council member Ann Margolin worked tirelessly to address neighborhood concerns,” Gretchen Kane, Ursuline Academy president, said at the dedication.

According to Kane, the challenge was to allow for “the co-existence of regulation soccer and lacrosse fields while having an unwavering commitment to the preservation of our beautiful neighborhood.”

The 330-foot long and 195-foot wide field that is now open does just that, with sustainable landscaping, strict lighting requirements that minimize glare to neighbors, and high-performance, environmentally-friendly astroturf.

Ursuline’s “A Field of Our Own,” fundraising campaign, led by co-chairs John Gates, Tom Merkel, and institutional advancement director Christy Frazer, raised $3.5 million dollars from more than 100 donors, was also a vital effort behind moving the project forward.

Bishop Kevin Farrell of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas attended the dedication ceremony to bless the field. Growing up, Bishop Farrell played soccer and rugby.

“This is the first soccer field I have blessed in the diocese, but I hope there are many more.”


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