The Battleground Athletic Complex was completed in 2005 and named for the competitive spirit of the school’s student-athletes and the area’s military history. Presently, the complex is devoted to Division III sporting events and intramural sport teams. The naming of the Athletic Complex is a nod towards the city of Fredericksburg’s history as the site of the famous Civil War confrontation, The Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862.[1. “The Battle of Fredericksburg: December 11-15, 1862,” Civil War Trust,
http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/fredericksburg.html?gclid=CJHi8snMrq8CFUbe4AodlB9zmg.] Similarly, the school yearbook is called The Battlefield.
The outdoor athletic site for the school has existed along Hanover Street for decades, but until the 1970s it was only a nine-hole golf course. After the completion of Goolrick Hall in 1969, the school turned its attention to the need for more outdoor sport resources. The college’s first Athletic Director, Edward H. Hegman (who is retiring in 2012), led the school in his support for an expanded complex on Hanover Street to be called “The Battleground.” The golf course was demolished and by 1981 the complex included a new soccer field; cross-country area; a 400-meter track; and a 10,000 square foot athletic field. [2. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg, VA: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 215.] Eventually, baseball and softball fields joined the complex, most obviously the V. Earl Dickinson Stadium that opened in 1995 to honor a supportive Virginia State Delegate.[3. Crawley, 743.] The final component of The Battleground was the $4.2 million, indoor tennis center in 2005.[4. Crawley, 742.]