WILLIAMSBURG, NOV. 2 -- William and Mary's football stadium, Cary Field, will formally be renamed Walter J. Zable Stadium Saturday afternoon, just before the Tribe takes on Furman in its homecoming game.
The renaming of the stadium is a result of a $10 million commitment to the college's Campaign for the Fourth Century by Zable and his wife, Betty, who reside in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Zable, who excelled in football, basketball, track and baseball during his undergraduate days at William and Mary, graduated from the school in 1937. His wife was a member of the class of 1940.
Zable is president and chairman of Cubic Corp. in San Diego, a diversified electronics company recognized internationally for the development of electronic equipment. He founded Cubic Corp. in 1951.
The $10 million commitment was announced this week and the college's Board of Visitors voted today to rename the stadium. A special ceremony will be held prior to the kickoff, scheduled for 1:15 p.m.
"This is truly one of the most significant gifts in William and Mary history and it couldn't have come at a more appropriate time," said the school's president, Paul R. Verkuil.
Of the $10 million grant, Zable specified $5 million be used to endow scholarships for athletes. The principal will be invested and the interest will fund the scholarships.
The remaining $5 million will be split, with $2.5 million used to endow graduate student aid and $2.5 million used to meet the needs of various future university programs.
"Without sports, I would not have had a chance at an education," said Zable, "and without an education, who knows what would have happened.
"I have to thank sports immensely for my success. I wanted to do something to ensure future athletes get the same chance I had."
"The generosity of Walt and Betty Zable ensures that generations of high-quality student-athletes will represent William and Mary in the future," said Athletic Director John Randolph.
During his career at William and Mary, Zable was Southern Conference low hurdles champion and an honorable-mention all-American and first-team all-South Atlantic football player. He played professional football with the New York Giants and the Richmond Arrows.
Zable graduated from William and Mary with a degree in physics. He was named to the school's hall of fame in 1969. In 1979 he was the first recipient of the Distinguished American Award from the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame's San Diego chapter.
The Tribe's meeting with Furman today is a game with playoff overtones in Division I-AA. Furman is 6-2 and ranks seventh in the I-AA poll. The Tribe also is 6-2 and is ranked 10th. The loser's chances of making the 16-team playoff field will be lessened considerably.