Pingry’s rich tradition of athletics is evident in the school’s athletic facilities, including the fields for football, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, baseball, and softball; a cross-country course that laps the campus; 12 outdoor tennis courts, a 400-meter all-weather track, a six-lane 25-meter indoor swimming pool, a strength and fitness center, and two basketball gymnasiums. Many of these facilities are named in honor of people who had or have close connections to the school.
The Beinecke Pool
Dedicated to Honorary Trustee and 1969 Letter-in-Life award recipient William S. Beinecke ’31, a member of the board of trustees from 1955 to 1976. Mr. Beinecke proposed the school’s move from Hillside to Bernards Township, where he believed Pingry would benefit from New Jersey’s population growth. He made funds available to Pingry to purchase the land for the new campus and, years later, forgave the school’s mortgage note. By removing Pingry’s obligation to re-pay him, he allowed the school to use the money for other purposes.
The Miller Bugliari ’52 World Cup Soccer Field
Constructed in 1994 as the training site for the Italian National Soccer Team. The work done on the field was dedicated to the memory of Charles Stillitano, Sr. His son Charlie, Jr. ’77, a current Pingry parent, was a soccer star at Pingry and is a member of Pingry’s athletic Hall of Fame. Coach Bugliari has been at the helm of the Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team since the fall of 1960, and his teams have amassed numerous state and county championships while he has earned coaching honors and been elected to several Halls of Fame, including Pingry’s. On September 27, 2008, he earned his 700th career victory.
The field for junior varsity soccer and girls’ varsity lacrosse, and the adjacent pavilion are dedicated to the late Timothy Clift Cornwall ’64, who played soccer and lacrosse, was elected president of his class, received The Class of 1902 emblem award, and was a member of the 1962 Boys’ Varsity Soccer Team, which is enshrined in Pingry’s athletic Hall of Fame. His brother Joe ’67, an architect who designed the pavilion, describes him as a gifted athlete who thrived on competition and challenges, and relates that Tim earned the nick-name “Clutch” because of his performance under pressure. Tim entered Pingry in grade 5. “He liked to say that his classmates felt sorry for his new and awkward standing and so, in an effort to make him feel at home, made him president of the class,” Joe says. They elected Tim president of the class every year and, in his senior year, they elected him president of the school.
The Freeman Family Scoreboard
Heath Freeman ’98, Amanda Freeman ’94, and Danyelle Freeman ’92—was dedicated in November 1997 for the soccer and baseball fields. Heath and Amanda attended Pingry from Kindergarten through Form VI, and the Freeman Family was eager to support both the school and the soccer program of which they were proud to be a part.
The Greig Fitness Center
Named for the Greig Family. Thomas ’94, David ’98, and andrew ’00 were very involved in Pingry athletics, and their parents decided to help fund the renovations for the new center. They wanted it to be dedicated to the coaches and staff of the athletics department to recognize their commitment to educating Pingry students in areas such as teamwork, sportsmanship, and determination. The Fitness Center contains treadmills, Stairmasters, bicycles, dumbbell racks, more than 20 strength training machines for the upper and lower body, a stretching mat, a variety of lifting objects, and various custom-made barbells and dumbbells to meet the needs of students and athletes, in addition to other equipment.
Located inside the track and used by the football and boys’ lacrosse teams, is named in honor of the late Robert W. Parsons, whose sons Bob ’51, Roger ’55, and Stanley ’56, and grandchildren Jennifer (Parsons) Hedlund ’94 and Christopher Parsons ’97 attended Pingry. Mr. Parsons was Chair of the Board in 1965 and again from 1971 to 1978. He was instrumental in the school’s moves to Hillside and Martinsville and was made an honor-ary alumnus because of his foresight and determination in these two moves. Mr. Parsons first became a trustee shortly after his son Bob entered Pingry in 1946.
Thomas Tennis Courts
George Comyns Thomas ’07 was a tennis star, ranked at Pingry and nationally ranked while at Princeton University, and the tennis courts are named in his honor. He worked for Thomas & Betts Corporation, becoming general manager in 1929 and moving up to president many years later. Pingry honored him with the Letter-in-Life award in 1950.
E. Murray Todd ’16, athlete, Pingry trustee, and 1975 recipient of the Letter-in-Life award, had Pingry’s track named for him shortly after Pingry opened the Martinsville Campus. The dedication was awarded in recognition of Murray’s victory in the 1916 eastern States Interscholastic and Prep School Championship Mile and for his exceptional commitment and generosity to the school. Robert Parsons, Sr. knew of Murray’s business acumen and encouraged him to become a Pingry Trustee, a position Murray faithfully held until his death.
The late Reese Williams, another member of Pingry’s athletic Hall of Fame, has the baseball field named for him. He served as Director of Athletics from 1920 to 1959 and Head Coach of the Varsity Baseball Team from 1920 to 1960. He also coached Pingry football.
Hyde and Watson Gymnasium
The first of Pingry’s two gymnasiums is named for the Hyde and Watson Foundation, a consolidation in 1983 of The Lillia Babbitt Hyde Foundation and The John Jay and Eliza Jane Watson Foundation. Honorary Trustee Bill Engel ’67 has been a director of the foundation for 22 years and is now the president. “The foundation has been a significant source of funding for Pingry over many decades; they supported the building of the Hillside Campus; and they were one of the largest providers of funds for the move to Martinsville,” he says. When Pingry approached the foundation to name something at the Martinsville Campus, the decision was made to name one of the gyms, given that the Hillside Campus’s gym was named the Hyde gymnasium.
The other gymnasium is named for the late Madeleine Wild Bristol, mother of Honorary Trustee William “Mac” Bristol III ’39, Atherton “Toni” Bristol ’41, and former trustee Michal W. Bristol ’49. She was also the grandmother of former trustee Brian Bristol ’69, Ted Bristol ’74, and Steven Bristol ’82. Mrs. Bristol was a huge proponent of Pingry athletics and attended every baseball, football, and basketball home game for many years; Toni coached at Pingry, and Mrs. Bristol was a regular in the stands to watch his teams in action.
JOHN TAYLOR BABBITT ’07 MEMORIAL FIELD
Pingry’s first synthetic turf field, measuring 93,000 square feet, not only memorializes John Taylor Babbitt ’07, but also serves as an outstanding athletic facility that Pingry has wanted for many years. Lacrosse coach Mike Webster and field hockey coach Judy Lee, whose teams use the field most of the time, say that improved technology makes synthetic turf fields safer. For example, the sub-surface used to be asphalt, but, now, there is a cushion and the surface is softer, so the synthetic turf can turn with the player’s foot as his or her body rotates. Mrs. Lee also points out that synthetic turf helps her players as they follow the bouncing ball. “It’s a ‘balls on the ground’ game. This should allow for predictability and no irregular bounces,” she says.