Cleveland Leigh Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium
Ground breaking exercises for Cleve L. Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium (formerly Alumni Bowl) at Tuskegee University was held on Saturday morning, August 21, 1924. The stadium was the first of its kind to be built at any Black school in the south. It was named Alumni Bowl because of the significant contribution made by alumni for the construction of the facility.
Principal speakers at the exercise were R. R. Taylor, acting president of the school; John L. Webb, Supreme Custodian of the Woodmen of Union of Arkansas; and Jesse O. Thomas, secretary of the National Urban League.
The first game was played in Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium between Tuskegee University and Atlanta University on October 10, 1925. It was Homecoming for Tuskegee and the Golden Tigers defeated the Golden Hurricanes of AU, 20-0. A large crowd from all sections of Alabama and supporters from out of state came to witness the formal dedication of Tuskegee's new $50,000 stadium. For Tuskegee, the outstanding players were Benjamin Stevenson, Millard Wooten, Ernest T. Bailey and Oscar Tadlock.
Additions have been made to the stadium several times. The athletic fieldhouse located at the south end, donated to the university by W. M. Marable Construction Company of Tuskegee, was erected in 1989. Marable, a general contractor, a contributor to the school's athletic program, reconstructed the press box in the mid-eighties. The most recent renovation took place in 1991 with the installation of new aluminum seats, a Pepsi Cola scoreboard and 600 stadium-type crimson and gold reserved seats. The six-lane cinder track is to be refurbished in the near future. The present seating capacity of Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium is 10,000.
After seventy-one years of play in the grand old stadium, University officials formerly dedicated the facility by renaming it the Cleve L. Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium on November 9, 1996 (Homecoming) in honor of legendary Tuskegee football mentor Cleveland Leigh Abbott. Abbott, the most successful coach in the 106-year history of Tuskegee football, served as the Golden Tigers' head coach from 1923-1954, winning 95 and tying 27 in a 32-year coaching span.
Daniel "Chappie" James Center for Aerospace Science and Health Education
The General Daniel "Chappie" James Center for Aerospace Science and Health Education was dedicated on May 10, 1987 by then President of the United States Ronald Reagan. The massive James Center is named for Tuskegee University's distinguished graduate, General Daniel "Chappie" James, the first Black American to achieve the rank of Four-Star General in the United States military.
The $18.6 million Center includes classrooms, offices and technical laboratories for the aerospace science engineering program (the only aerospace science engineering program on a predominantly Black university campus); a rifle range, offices and classrooms for Army and Air Force ROTC; a memorial library/museum in honor of General James; the President's Lounge; a 5,000-seat University Arena/Convocation Center; athletic department offices, four team dressing rooms, a trainer's room and an olympic-size natatorium to support the University's program in health and physical education; and an outdoor plaza in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen. In addition, the actual plane last flown by General James, an F-4C, is on display on the grounds of the James Center. An overcross bridge connects the Center to the main engineering building. The deceased General is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
The presidential visit by Ronald Reagan was the culminating event of the annual Mother's Day Commencement Program, but the series of events leading up to it included the dedication of the F-4C aircraft, the plane flown by General James during a tour of duty in Southeast Asia, and the dedication of the Tuskegee Airmen's Plaza.
The Tuskegee basketball team played its first game in the James Center Arena on November 20, 1987. Dr. Charles Thompson's Golden Tigers defeated Florida Memorial College of Miami, Florida, 110-100. The first game played in the Center was between Clark Atlanta University and Bowie State University on the same date, won by Clark Atlanta.
The James Center Arena is the third home for the Tuskegee Basketball Golden Tigers and Tigerettes. Huntington Hall served as the home court from 1908-1931 and Logan Hall from January 9, 1931 until 1987.
Pepsico Tennis Courts
The Pepsico Tennis Courts were completed in 2001. Under the tutelage of head coach Gregory Green, Tuskegee played the 2001 men and women's tennis season at this facility. The tennis facility has five courts, lights and seating for approximately 200 spectators.
The Tuskegee women captured the 2001 SIAC tennis championship.
As early as 1890, Tuskegee boasted of a tennis court, which was located in front of the Academic Building. After 1900 a court was built on a shady area between First and Second Emery. Two additional courts were constructed in 1914. In 1923, three courts were built on Washington Field and two behind Douglass Hall. A little later one was added near the John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital for the benefit of doctors and nurses. In 1928, four courts were built near the entrance to Alumni Bowl, which is the current location of today's Pepsico Tennis Courts.
Tuskegee Weight Room
The Tuskegee athletic weight complex is a modern 3000 square-feet facility located at Cleve Leigh Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium. The air-conditioned facility was built in 2001 to facilitate the strength and conditioning needs of the 12 athletic teams of the University. The facility is equipped with free weights and a variety other weight equipment. It also contain bathrooms, showers, lockers and office space.
Andre’ Brunson, former Tuskegee football player and graduate, coordinates the strength program of the University.
Washington Baseball Field was named after James B. Washington who came to Tuskegee from Hampton Institute in 1890. He is affectionately referred to as the "Father of Athletics at Tuskegee." Washington, the adopted brother of Booker T. Washington, organized the first Tuskegee baseball team in 1892.
Seating Capacity: 250