Brown Rugby Field Dedication

Marvel Aldrich fieldAfter 44 years playing and practicing on fields as divergent as Aldrich Field (next to Marvel Gym), Aldrich Dexter Field, Hope High School field, and the old Bryant Baseball field (end of East George Street), Brown University, with donations from friends and alumni of Brown Rugby, built a new rugby field on the former site of Marvel Gymnasium on Elmgrove Avenue, which was dedicated and opened for play in the fall season of 2004.

Brown Gymnasium was built on this site, then known as Aldrich Field, in 1927. In 1938 the building was rededicated as a memorial to Frederick W. "Doc" Marvel, Class of 1884, who served as Brown University's first director of intercollegiate athletics from 1903-1938. Marvel Gymnasium was closed in 1989 and razed in 2002.

Led by David J. Zucconi '55, Executive Director of the Brown Sports Foundation and a founder of Brown Rugby and by Linton A. "Jay" Fluck '65, Head Coach of Brown Rugby, a steering committee was formed to raise the necessary funding to build the new rugby field. The University administration agreed to build the field and provide Brown Rugby with priority use, provided the alumni and friends of Brown Rugby could raise the funds necessary to offset approximately 50% of the cost to raze Marvel Gym, raise the elevation of the field, install drainage and irrigation systems, sod the field and construct a small storage shed and bathroom building.

The critical steering/fundraising committee was comprised of Dave Zucconi, Jay Fluck, Murray Danforth '77, Brian Moynihan '81, Leo Goulandris '85, Charlie Glerum '75, John Daniel '84, John LeClaire '79 and Sam Caspersen '95, etc. A meeting held in Boston galvanized this group and within a year, commitments had been made to guarantee Brown Rugby a permanent home.

The extraordinary generosity of the following made the project possible:

  • Murray S. Danforth III '77
  • Richard C. Dresdale '78
  • Leonardo C. Goulandris '85
  • Brian T. Moynihan '81

In addition many Brown Rugby alumni and friends, lead by the following donors assisted in achieving our goal:

  • Scott A. Adams '90
  • Robert A. Angell '78
  • Samuel M. W. Caspersen '95
  • Linton A. “Jay” Fluck '65
  • Charles L.Glerum '75
  • Ronald E. Gutfleish '81
  • John R. LeClaire '79
  • Kent M. Swig '83

The Brown Rugby Field was dedicated on October 16, 2004 with Ronald Dalgliesh '91, then current Brown Sports Foundation Executive Director, presiding over the ceremony. Dave Zucconi had recently passed away, but his widow Nancy Zucconi was in attendance together with a wonderful cross section of former Brown Rugby players, friends and families.

Brown Rugby captain, Jon Morales '05 provided the player's perspective and Ron dedicated the field in honor and memory of Dave Zucconi. A dinner, attended by over 250 people, was held that evening at the Westin Hotel. Master of ceremonies was George Hook, and Irishman who had provided coaching and technical support to Brown Rugby in the 1990's and, at the time of the dedication, was a television commentator for Irish Rugby. Presentations were made by Terry Walsh'65 for the 1960's, Charles Glerum'76 for the 1970's, Richard Stamm'89 for the 1980's and Samuel Caspersen'95 for the 1990's.