Development of Purdue University Calumet Athletics Complex celebrated Monday (12/9)

from left, women’s soccer coach Leslie Ferguson, Athletics Director Rick Costello, Peregrines mascot Pride, Chancellor Keon, softball coach Heather Tarter and baseball coach Dave Griffin
No one is happier about the emerging new athletics complex than this campus contingent, from left, women’s soccer coach Leslie Ferguson, Athletics Director Rick Costello, Peregrines mascot Pride, Chancellor Keon, softball coach Heather Tarter and baseball coach Dave Griffin.

An electric, festive gathering of more than 200 people attended Monday’s (12/9) groundbreaking program for the outdoor Purdue University Calumet Athletics Complex at nearby Dowling Park and inside the park’s Jean Shepherd Center.

The audience included university faculty, staff and plenty of student athletes; Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, Jr. and other representatives from the City of Hammond; lead corporate partners Albert’s Jewelers, Fifth Third Bank, PepsiCo, Community Hospital and The Times Media Company; and more than two dozen family members of late Hammond Mayor Edward C. Dowling.

Innovative partnership

The first phase of the complex–soccer, baseball and softball fields—will be ready for use in August. Complex development is part of an innovative, multi-dimensional partnership between Purdue Calumet and the City that also will advance economic development through our emerging commercialization and manufacturing centers and cultural initiatives with the downtown Towle Theater.    

Corporate Partners for the Dowling Athletics Complex
Purdue Calumet Athletics Complex corporate partners, from left: Chris White, The Times publisher; Josh Halpern, Albert’s Diamond Jewelers president & CEO; Kevin Desmond, Sr., PepsiCo Foodservice sales manager; Donald P. Fesko, Community Hospital CEO; Fred Halpern, Albert’s Diamond Jewelers founder; Chancellor Keon; Thomas M. McDermott, Jr., Hammond mayor & Purdue Calumet alumnus; and Craig Pratt, Fifth Third Bank of Northwest Indiana market executive & Purdue Calumet alumnus.


Following are…

Comments by our corporate partners:

“Purdue University Calumet and the City of Hammond will enjoy public, state-of-the-art sports facilities in softball, baseball, soccer and tennis, as well as a walking path along the entire park. Purdue Calumet is a major asset to the entire region. As mayor of the largest city in the region, I feel this partnership is critical to the future of our area, residents and the university.”

Thomas M. McDermott, Jr.
Mayor, City of Hammond
Purdue University Calumet alumnus, Class of 1996

“Fifth Third Bank is proud to expand its ongoing partnership with Purdue University Calumet to include sponsorship of the Peregrines’ softball field. This is a great evolution of our work together, and we look forward to seeing it come to life by hosting students, athletes and residents of Northwest Indiana.”

Craig Pratt
Market Executive, Fifth Third Bank of Northwest Indiana

“Community Hospital and Purdue University Calumet have had a strong partnership for many years. We are proud to expand the relationship and help support the new outdoor sports facility serving student athletes in our region.”  

Donald P. Fesko, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer, Community Hospital

“Albert’s Diamond Jewelers and the entire Halpern family are excited and honored to be part of the beginning of what we know will be an incredibly beneficial addition to Purdue Calumet and our entire community. As the adage goes, diamonds last forever; we’re proud to be part of a bigger diamond here today and an even bigger piece of forever.”

Josh Halpern
President & Co-Owner, Albert’s Diamond Jewelers

“PepsiCo is honored to be the exclusive beverage partner for Purdue University Calumet. We are thrilled to be a part of the groundbreaking events for the new Dowling Park and look forward to engaging in many more student and athletic initiatives in the upcoming years.”

Kevin Desmond, Sr.
Senior Sales Manager, PepsiCo Foodservice


“The Times is proud to support this unique partnership between Purdue University Calumet and the City of Hammond. It is a testimony of how varying parts of our government can work together for the good of all. I am pleased to salute Purdue Calumet, Mayor McDermott and the City of Hammond for setting an example of productive cooperation.”

Chris White
Publisher, The Times Media Company