The board approved the new name during its recent meeting, but the announcement was delayed until the annual Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame banquet Saturday, Nov. 12, which Smith attended.
Smith, founder and owner of Evergreen International Aviation, Inc., served on the Linfield Board of Trustees from 1975 to 2009. He has supported the college through numerous gifts and by providing internships to hundreds of Linfield students at his local businesses. Many of those interns went on to work full time at Evergreen after graduation.
“Del Smith’s support of Linfield students, both athletically and academically, has changed the lives of countless young people,” said President Thomas L. Hellie. “It is fitting that we recognize his support by naming the softball stadium in his honor. His gifts have been instrumental in the development of our softball program into the national spotlight.”
Linfield has long been known as a powerhouse in football and in baseball. In recent years, the Linfield softball team has also become nationally known – winning two national titles in the last five years. Upgrades to the softball facilities in recent years have aided in the success of the program and have been made possible with Smith’s generosity. The stadium now features a 400-seat grandstand, enclosed press box, an enhanced scoreboard and two covered and partially enclosed batting cages. Linfield is recognized as having some of the finest athletic facilities of any Division III college in the Pacific Northwest.
Smith was inducted into Linfield’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005 for meritorious service to the athletics program including providing lodging, transportation and meals for the baseball program, and financial gifts for the construction of the Rutschman Field House, renovation of Helser Field and upgrades to the football and track fields.
His support for the college has extended far beyond athletics and includes contributions to the Nicholson Library, Linfield Business Department, Edith Green Endowed Lecture Fund and the President’s Discretionary Fund in addition to numerous internships and full-time employment for students at Evergreen Aviation, Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, and Wings and Waves Waterpark.