Tigerville, SC (February 12, 2019) Longtime North Greenville University supporter George E. Bomar has given the private university $600,000 toward construction of a new baseball stadium on NGU’s Tigerville campus.
The George Bomar Family Stadium at Ashmore Park will include a President’s Box suite, a hospitality/media building, an entry plaza, and a 300-seat stadium structure directly behind home plate. NGU broke ground on the project on Saturday, Feb. 9, before a Crusaders doubleheader versus Newberry College.
“George Bomar is enabling us to move forward with Phase Two of our Ashmore Park project, and is providing a great stadium facility to complement beautiful Ray and Bea Dillard Field,” said NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant Jr.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Bomar said he has appreciated the opportunity to support NGU over the past several decades. The former University of South Carolina baseball catcher said he was pleased to invest in the Crusaders program led by fellow Gamecocks alumnus Landon Powell.
During his remarks, Bomar offered a light-hearted reminder to current members of the NGU baseball team in attendance. “If I’m a part of something, I expect to win,” said the Fountain Inn resident and former member of the Greenville County Council.
The President’s Box will offer an events venue at the stadium, with the hospitality/media building providing space for a press box, restrooms, and concessions.
NGU officials expect the stadium project to be completed during the Fall 2019 semester, ready for the Crusaders’ 2020 regular season.
The first phase of Ashmore Park was a reworking of the current playing surface, costing $1.2 million, which was funded by private donations. Bea Dillard, of Spartanburg, made the lead gift to begin the Ray and Bea Dillard Field project in memory of her husband, Ray. The refurbishments included the installation of artificial turf with a standard dirt mound, new outfield fencing, backstop fencing, scoreboard, bullpen, and batting cages. That phase was completed in early 2018, making NGU the first college or university to have an all-turf baseball field in the state of South Carolina.
Bomar was born a short distance from the Tigerville campus on Camp Creek Road in 1934. Having served on many boards, he was a leader in Greenville County and was chairman of Greenville County Council, the first president of the SC Association of Counties from Greenville County, and in 1995 was awarded the state’s highest honor given to a civilian, the Order of the Palmetto.
A lifelong active Baptist, Bomar’s support of NGU began over two decades ago. A former member of NGU’s Council of Advisors, he and his wife, Dr. Barbara Bomar, are Christian Ministry Scholarship Fund and Crusader Club members. They have financially supported other university projects. The university’s College of Mass Communication facilities in the Jacks and Deborah Tingle Student Life Center are named in Bomar’s honor. NGU bestowed an honorary doctorate on Bomar in 2005. The Dr. George Bomar and Dr. Barbara Bomar Endowment Fund was established in 2007 to provide scholarships for Mass Communication students.
Future phases of the Ashmore Park developing include new student housing overlooking the baseball field.
Also, a wellness and outdoor recreational center is planned for construction beyond the right-field fence, offering views of both Dillard Field and mountains to the north of the campus. The final phase will be a renovation to the current baseball fieldhouse to include a players’ lounge, newly renovated locker room facilities, coaches’ offices, laundry, and storage.
We are grateful to George Bomar for his commitment to invest in our student-athletes and the campus community through this great project,” said Fant. “Ashmore Park is a vital part of our university, combining residential space, wellness facilities and an athletics venue. This is a major step in strengthening our campus resources.”