As part of the university’s All In campaign for W&M Athletics, Dillard Field will see major upgrades in the new year. In partnership with William & Mary Athletics and Campus Recreation, Jennifer Tepper Mackesy ’91, D. Scott Mackesy ’91 and John Goodenow “Goody” Tyler III HON ’11 are funding the enhancements, including the installation of new turf, a scoreboard and lighting for evening use.
“Jen, Scott and Goody recognized the priority need to provide a fully operational, competitive venue for students involved in sports at every level,” said Director of Athletics Brian Mann. “They stepped up to meet the moment, as they have so many times previously.”
The joint gift brings William & Mary close to the final goal in the $55-million All In campaign, with more than $52 million raised so far. “With the finish line in sight at the end of 2023, this partnership among our most stalwart supporters offers us tremendous momentum,” Mann said.
Located next to Plumeri Baseball Park and Martin Family Stadium, the transformed Dillard Field will serve both as a practice venue for men’s and women’s varsity soccer and lacrosse teams, as well as a practice and game venue for intramural and club sports.
“With more than 85% of W&M students participating in Campus Recreation programming, demand has been growing for enhanced facilities for our intramural and club teams, from field hockey to rugby to ultimate,” said Linda Knight, executive director of Health & Wellness and director of Campus Recreation.
“We are incredibly grateful to Goody Tyler and the Mackesys for creating this ‘field of dreams’ for all our students,” Knight said.
This initiative is the latest example of Tyler and the Mackesys’ commitment to William & Mary’s mission of promoting health and wellness campuswide.
The Mackesys have been at the forefront of the All In campaign, supporting the W&M Athletics Complex that will include an upgraded Kaplan Arena and new Mackesy Sports Performance Center, named in the couple’s honor. Their dedication to Tribe sports dates back to their own collegiate experience — Scott was a standout on the men’s tennis team and Jen was part of several nationally competitive women’s soccer teams.
Through their gifts, the Mackesys are aiming to provide athletes with vital resources for training and health, and to create a welcoming home for all student-athletes.
“For me, it’s all about being able to compete at the highest level,” Jen Mackesy said. “Having the new turf field will allow our varsity teams to practice even on a rainy day. Having a place where the entire student body can be active and participate in recreational sports is equally important, and those students who are participating at the rec level hopefully will be fans and supporters of the varsity teams and cheer them on in their games. That’s extremely important for the entire William & Mary community.”
Together with his late wife — Helen “Bee” Elizabeth McLeod ’83, M.B.A. ’91 — Goody Tyler has supported life-changing wellness initiatives at William & Mary, most prominently the creation of the McLeod Tyler Wellness Center and establishment of an endowment to fund free recreation and wellness classes. In 2021, the Recreation Center was dedicated in Bee McLeod’s name. The couple’s gifts have also benefited W&M Libraries, scholarships and many other initiatives across the university.
“I am grateful to Linda Knight for sharing her vision for Campus Recreation with me, and I’m thrilled to team up with the Mackesys to help create new opportunities for all William & Mary students to be active and experience recreational sports,” said Tyler. “Rec sports offer physical benefits, but they also help to build teamwork skills as well as lifelong friendships.”
“I always say that wellness is physical, spiritual and mental,” Tyler adds. “As a devoted marathoner, Bee understood this especially well. She would be so pleased to see this holistic approach to campus sports at William & Mary.”
Athletics at all levels is an integral part of the educational experience at William & Mary. Through the generosity of donors like the Mackesys, Tyler and many thousands more, the All In campaign is providing enriching opportunities for the Tribe to connect with each other, celebrate success together and take pride in athletics while ensuring the program’s long-term financial sustainability. Learn more at tribeathletics.com/allin.