Jul 19th, 2011 @ 10:30 am | Author:
Major contribution funds artificial turf

The football field at Valley City State University, which is in the midst of receiving a new artificial turf surface, is being named Shelly Ellig Field in recognition of a major contribution from the Fargo-area businessman and philanthropist.

Dr. Steve Shirley, president of VCSU, said, "Artificial turf for our football field will be a tremendous asset to both VCSU as well as the region, and it would not have been possible without the generous contributions from our donors. In particular, we are very pleased to dedicate the field in honor of Mr. Ellig, whose contribution was essential to making the project a reality."

Shelly Ellig was the founder of Fargo-based Stop-N-Go stores and several other business interests in the region. Widely known as a philanthropist and for his dedication to youth, he has made several other substantial contributions to many community organizations. He passed away in October 2010 at the age of 81.

According to athletic director Jack Denholm, the new artificial turf surface will enhance several aspects of the athletic program at VCSU. "Artificial turf is very attractive to prospective athletes, so this field will enhance our ability to recruit top athletes. It will also be more durable than our natural turf field, so it can be used for other purposes in addition to Viking football, such as hosting games for area high-schools."

Other major contributors to the project include Valley City/Barnes County Economic Development, the City of Valley City Visitors Committee, DuWayne Bott, Dacotah Bank, Bob and Jan Ingstad - Ingstad Family Media, AmericInn, Grotberg Electric, Leevers Super Valu, and Nodak Mutual Insurance.

Work on installation of the field is currently underway and will be completed in time for the Viking season opener against Morningside College on September 1. The stadium will retain the name 'Lokken Stadium' in honor of the University's seventh president, Roscoe Lokken, who served from 1946 – 1970. The field is receiving the full name "Shelly Ellig Field at Lokken Stadium."

Valley City State University (VCSU) prepares people for life through visionary leadership and exemplary practices in teaching, learning and service. VCSU is nationally acclaimed for attracting and retaining talented individuals who advance quality learning opportunities and economic growth through technology and innovation.